News & Perspective

Dec 12, 2007

Dec 12, 2007

Public weighs in on pandemic vaccine allocation plan

(CIDRAP News) – As US officials wrap up efforts to gauge the public's response to a draft plan for allocating vaccine supplies during an influenza pandemic, suggestions to fine-tune the plan are emerging, such as giving higher priority to critical infrastructure workers, the families of key healthcare workers, and community pharmacists.

Dec 05, 2007

Dec 05, 2007

Report says stingy funding has put FDA in crisis

(CIDRAP News) – Safety inspectors still write their reports by hand, food processing plants are inspected once every 10 years at best, only two people work full-time on pet-food safety, and critical information is locked up in piles of warehoused paper documents.

Nov 02, 2007

Nov 02, 2007

GAO urges more effort to gird US infrastructure for pandemic

(CIDRAP News) – The federal government should step up efforts to prepare the nation's key infrastructure industries, such as energy and transportation, for an influenza pandemic, Congress's investigative agency said in a report this week.

Oct 22, 2007

Oct 22, 2007

White House aims to transform public health preparedness

(CIDRAP News) – The White House recently issued a lengthy homeland security directive aimed at bolstering the response of federal, state, and local public health systems to national emergencies such as bioterrorist attacks, influenza pandemics, and natural disasters.

Oct 04, 2007

Oct 04, 2007

House committee airs safety concerns about biodefense labs

(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.

Sep 13, 2007

Sep 13, 2007

House panel sees CDC errors in case of traveling TB patient

(CIDRAP News) – US health officials failed to follow international health regulations and made other errors in dealing with Andrew Speaker, the man with drug-resistant tuberculosis who sparked a health scare by traveling overseas in May, according to a report released this week by Democrats in Congress.

Sep 05, 2007

Sep 05, 2007

CDC details problems at Texas A&M biodefense lab

(CIDRAP News) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday released a lengthy list of safety violations it found in an investigation of a biodefense laboratory at Texas A&M University, where research on dangerous pathogens was suspended 2 months ago after problems came to light.

Aug 16, 2007

Aug 16, 2007

Report says problems hobble US biosurveillance system

(CIDRAP News) – Three years ago President Bush directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to consolidate biosurveillance data to improve the nation's ability to detect bioterrorism and other infectious disease threats, but federal auditors warned this week that leadership problems have seriously hampered the program.

Jul 18, 2007

Jul 18, 2007

HHS, DHS fund public health preparedness and emergency response

(CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) yesterday announced it was providing states, US territories, and four metropolitan areas with $896.7 million in public health preparedness funding, with $175 million of the total earmarked for pandemic planning.

Preparedness grantsThe bulk of the money is allocated toward Public Health Emergency Cooperative Agreements, which public health departments use to build capacity.

Jul 03, 2007

Jul 03, 2007

CDC suspends work at Texas A&M biodefense lab

(CIDRAP News) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Jun 30 ordered a biodefense research laboratory at Texas A&M University to stop all work on select agents and toxins while the CDC investigates reports of lab workers infected with the category B bioterror agents Brucella and Coxiella burnetti.

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