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) – A detailed expert assessment of what it would take for the nation to improve its resilience to natural disasters, infectious disease outbreaks, and other emergencies by 2030 found that although the goal is big and wide ranging, a national vision centered on measurable short-term goals could make a big difference.
(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) US Navy and Air Force officials recently reported a suspension of work in their biodefense laboratories to allow a thorough review of safety procedures, following the Army's announcement in early August that it would review security measures at the lab that housed the work of the late Bruce E. Ivins, whom federal officials believe played a role in the 2001 anthrax attacks.
(CIDRAP News) A US House of Representatives committee today explored problems at the nation's biodefense labs, including a lack of coordinated federal oversight and even a lack of knowledge of how many high-containment labs exist.
These concerns have been highlighted recently by aggressive efforts from the Sunshine Project, a watchdog group that monitors biodefense research safety, and by other media reports.