News & Perspective

Dec 17, 2008

Dec 17, 2008

Cost, resistance aired in HHS webcast on antivirals

(CIDRAP News) – Cost issues and the risk of viral resistance drew considerable attention today in an online presentation by federal health officials on their revised guidance regarding use of antiviral drugs in an influenza pandemic.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released two guidance documents this week, one on antiviral use in general and one on employer stockpiling of antivirals.

Nov 12, 2008

Nov 12, 2008

Feds stage airport test of plan to slow pandemic

(CIDRAP News) – Officials from several agencies recently converged on Miami's international airport to take part in a full-scale exercise of the federal government's risk-based strategy to slow the spread of a future pandemic influenza virus across US borders.

Oct 22, 2008

Oct 22, 2008

GAO says tighter security needed at two BSL-4 labs

(CIDRAP News) – Two of the nation's five biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) labs lack outer-ring security controls to protect against a terrorist attack or theft of some of the world's most dangerous pathogens, such as the Ebola and smallpox viruses, according to a new report from the Governmental Accountability Office (GAO).

Oct 17, 2008

Oct 17, 2008

US antiterrorism rules restrict vaccine exports

(CIDRAP News) – A recent Associated Press (AP) report revealed that, in the name of preventing biological attacks, the United States has rules barring the exportation of vaccines for avian influenza, smallpox, yellow fever, and many other pathogens to five countries classified as sponsors of terrorism.

Oct 15, 2008

Oct 15, 2008

Rand report proposes standards for mass antibiotic dispensing

(CIDRAP News) – The Rand Corp., responding to a request from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), recently unveiled a set of proposed standards for cities to use as they establish plans to distribute antibiotics to the public in the event of a bioterrorist attack or other public health emergency.

Oct 01, 2008

Oct 01, 2008

FDA approves CDC's new rapid flu test

(CIDRAP News) – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday approved a new diagnostic test developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that can quickly distinguish seasonal influenza strains from an evolving virus that might have pandemic potential in hours rather than days.

Jul 23, 2008

Jul 23, 2008

New pandemic vaccine plan keeps focus on critical workers

(CIDRAP News) – Federal health officials today released their official guidance on allocating vaccine during an influenza pandemic, with few changes from a previous draft that put military personnel, critical health and emergency workers, pregnant women, and small children at the head of the line.

Jun 19, 2008

Jun 19, 2008

New state reports push Salmonella outbreak count to 383

(CIDRAP News) – The number of patients sickened in a Salmonella outbreak linked to tomatoes has grown by 106 more cases, a sign that states have ramped up their surveillance in response to the event, federal food safety officials said at news conference yesterday.

Jun 17, 2008

Jun 17, 2008

CDC funds tests to sort seasonal, avian flu

(CDIRAP News) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded two contracts worth a total of $12.9 million to develop influenza tests, with the aim of making it possible to distinguish seasonal from avian flu viruses within 3 hours.

Jun 13, 2008

Jun 13, 2008

Congress voices frustration as Salmonella toll rises

(CIDRAP News) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said yesterday that the number of people sickened in a nationwide Salmonella outbreak linked to raw tomatoes has climbed to 228 in 23 states, while federal lawmakers voiced frustration over what they saw as slow progress toward improving produce safety.

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