News & Perspective

Dec 20, 2001

Dec 20, 2001

USDA will continue to use Salmonella tests to assess meat plant safety

(CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will continue to test meat for Salmonella to confirm that meat processors' food safety systems are adequate, despite a court ruling that Salmonella tests can't be used to shut down a plant, Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced this week.

Dec 19, 2001

Dec 19, 2001

Anthrax vaccine to be offered to postal and Capitol workers

(CIDRAP News) – Because of a small theoretical risk that anthrax spores can hide in the lungs for up to 100 days and grow after antibiotic treatment is stopped, the anthrax vaccine and an extension of antibiotic treatment will be offered to people who may have been exposed in the recent anthrax attacks, federal health officials announced yesterday afternoon.

Dec 17, 2001

Dec 17, 2001

Early in a smallpox outbreak, each patient could infect 10 to 12 more

(CIDRAP News) – If bioterrorists released smallpox virus today, each person who contracted the disease could infect as many as 10 to 12 more before health authorities would recognize the disease and act to contain it, according to experts writing in the Dec 13 issue of Nature.

Dec 13, 2001

Dec 13, 2001

Appeals court invalidates USDA's Salmonella standard for meat

(CIDRAP News) – A federal appeals court has ruled that the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Salmonella performance standard for meat packers is illegal, depriving USDA of authority to shut down packing plants for producing meat with Salmonella levels exceeding the standard.

Dec 13, 2001

House passes $2.9 billion authorization for bioterrorism preparedness

(CIDRAP News) – The US House of Representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bill authorizing about $2.9 billion in spending on preparedness for bioterrorism and other public health emergencies.

Dec 13, 2001

Dec 13, 2001

Finding an antitoxin is among priorities for anthrax research

(CIDRAP News) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) priorities for research on anthrax include development of an antitoxin, aerosolization of anthrax powders sent by mail, and postexposure prophylaxis, CDC officials said this week.

Dec 10, 2001

Dec 10, 2001

HHS announces new bioterrorism research initiatives

(CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced seven new research grant programs to speed efforts to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases related to bioterrorism.

Dec 07, 2001

Dec 07, 2001

AMA not supporting immediate national smallpox vaccination program

(CIDRAP News) – The American Medical Association this week declined to support any immediate steps toward vaccinating the whole population against smallpox, but endorsed planning for such a step in case it is needed in the future.

Dec 07, 2001

Dec 07, 2001

Rapid tests for environmental anthrax should not be used alone, CDC says

(CIDRAP News) – Rapid tests for detecting anthrax spores on surfaces should not be used alone as the basis for public health or clinical decisions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned in today's issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Dec 06, 2001

Dec 06, 2001

85 million mail items processed at anthrax-contaminated facilities, CDC reports

(CIDRAP News) – Eighty-five million pieces of mail were processed at anthrax-contaminated Postal Service plants in New Jersey and Washington, DC, before the plants were closed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevented (CDC) reported today. Although the numbers suggest that cross-contaminated mail may be widespread, officials said the risk of contracting inhalational anthrax from such mail is very low.

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