Nov 12 (CIDRAP News) Improved survival among victims of the recent anthrax attacks, as compared with past anthrax cases, is probably a result of better antibiotic regimens, early recognition and treatment, and improved supportive care, among other factors, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials.
(CIDRAP News) As part of its response to the recent anthrax attacks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is holding daily media briefings on its anthrax investigation and related activities and posting transcripts of the briefings on its Web site.
(CIDRAP News) Donald A. Henderson, MD, public health expert and director of the successful campaign to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s, has been appointed to coordinate the national response to public health emergencies. Tommy G. Thompson, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), named Henderson last week as director of the newly created Office of Public Health Preparedness.
(CIDRAP New) Officials from the Mayo Clinic and Roche Molecular Biochemicals today announced the development of a DNA test that they say can accurately detect anthrax bacteria in human and environmental samples in less than an hour, far faster than currently available tests. They said they will begin making the test available free to public health laboratories this week to help combat the current spate of anthrax attacks.
(CIDRAP News) The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a notice in the Federal Register this week to make clear that doxycycline and penicillin G procaine, along with ciprofloxacin, already are approved for use as postexposure prophylaxis following inhalational exposure to anthrax. The notice also details postexposure dosing regimens for these medications.
(CIDRAP News) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gives a detailed report on its ongoing investigation of the current anthrax attack in today's issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The report includes a detailed treatment protocol for inhalational anthrax related to the current attack, calling for use of either ciprofloxacin or doxycycline plus one or two other antimicrobials.
Oct 25 (CIDRAP News) Two studies published online by Nature this week help explain how anthrax toxin works, possibly paving the way for the development of drugs that could block the toxin's action. One group of researchers explains how it identified the cell-surface receptor that enables anthrax toxin to invade host cells, while another group describes the precise molecular structure of a key component of the toxin.