News & Perspective

Jan 08, 2003

Jan 08, 2003

Ricin awareness heightens after London arrests

(CIDRAP News) – The London arrests Sunday (Jan 5) of six men and yesterday of a seventh in connection with discovery of the highly toxic material ricin have British physicians on the alert for signs of poisoning and citizens being reminded by officials to be "alert but not alarmed." The situation has heightened interest elsewhere, as ricin is among the agents considered as likely agents of bioterrorism.

Jan 16, 2003

Jan 16, 2003

FDA to discuss food security rules in meeting via satellite

(CIDRAP News) Ð The Food and DrugAdministration will hold a public meeting, broadcast via satellite link, Jan 29to discuss proposed rules to help prevent deliberate contamination of foodssold in the United States.

Jan 29, 2003

Jan 29, 2003

Bush initiative would promote new defenses against bioterror diseases

Editor's note: This story was updated Jan 30, 2003, with additional information from the Department of Health and Human Services.

(CIDRAP News) – President Bush yesterday proposed an initiative, called Project Bioshield, to speed the development and production of vaccines and treatments for smallpox, anthrax, botulism, and other diseases that could be spread by terrorists.

Jan 30, 2003

Jan 30, 2003

FDA proposes rules for advance notice of food imports

(CIDRAP News) – Starting next December, importers will have to start notifying the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at least a day in advance of every food shipment coming into the United States.

Feb 05, 2003

Feb 05, 2003

Many doses of smallpox vaccine shipped, but few shots given so far

(CIDRAP News) – Close to 200,000 doses of smallpox vaccine have been shipped to 35 states and two major cities since the vaccination program began Jan 24, but only about 700 healthcare workers have been vaccinated so far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Feb 07, 2003

Feb 07, 2003

Citing reports on Al Qaida, feds raise threat level to 'high'

(CIDRAP News) – Federal officials today raised the nation's security threat level from "elevated" to "high" because of intelligence reports indicating an increased risk of Al Qaida attacks on Americans at home or abroad. "High" is the second-highest of the five threat levels, after "severe."

Feb 24, 2003

Feb 24, 2003

National ad campaign urges Americans to prepare for terrorist threats

(CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is using an advertising campaign to urge Americans to store emergency supplies and take other steps to prepare for potential terrorist attacks, including biological and chemical attacks.

Feb 26, 2003

Feb 26, 2003

BioWatch program aims for nationwide detection of airborne pathogens

Editor's Note: The text as originally published on Feb 26 was revised slightly on March 10, 2003.

Mar 07, 2003

Mar 07, 2003

Smallpox vaccine compensation plan gets mixed reviews

(CIDRAP News) – The Bush administration's proposal to compensate health workers harmed by the smallpox vaccine has drawn mixed reviews from public health groups and unions, with some groups calling it a major step forward and others labeling it inadequate.

Mar 11, 2003

Mar 11, 2003

Technical barriers to airborne anthrax attack may be overrated, study suggests

(CIDRAP News) –The results of a spraying program to control gypsy moths in British Columbia suggest that terrorists could use conventional crop-dusting equipment to spread anthrax spores over a city and potentially infect people, according to a report in a new biodefense journal.

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