Disclosure: The University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, which publishes CIDRAP News, has produced training programs and materials for the BioWatch program. The news team has no involvement in the center's BioWatch work.
In the wake of a newspaper investigation that questioned the value of the federal BioWatch program for detecting dangerous airborne pathogens, some public health officials familiar with the program acknowledge that it's far from perfect, but they say it's not time to scrap it.
(CIDRAP News) Public health leaders, recalling and reflecting on the anthrax letter attacks of 2001 in a lengthy report released today, say the nation is better prepared to respond to such an emergency than it was 10 years ago, but their confidence is tinged with fear of slipping backward in the current era of budget cutting.
(CIDRAP News) The president of the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) complained to Congress last week that the federal program that monitors the air for dangerous pathogens in major cities is a heavy burden on state and local laboratories.
(CIDRAP News) – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to adopt new automated equipment that will be able to detect dangerous airborne pathogens in major US cities in as little as 4 hours, with a goal of starting deployment in the fall of 2010, DHS officials told Congress last week.
(CIDRAP News) The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says federal agencies may not be able to reliably rule out the presence of anthrax contamination in a building because their sampling and detection methods have not been adequately tested.
(CIDRAP News) The US House this week overwhelmingly approved the "BioShield" bill to guarantee a market for antidotes to biological and chemical weapons, thereby sending the legislation to President Bush for his promised signature.
(CIDRAP News) – The Bush administration today released a long catalog of what it considers the nation's biodefense and public health preparedness gains over the last 3 years and promised more improvements to come.