Critical Intersection of Diagnostics and Countermeasures

A biological agent is released, samples are collected, and then the diagnostic process begins. Laboratories within a national (and international) network screen for potential threats and determine the level of exposure and treatment required for each response. Such diagnostics provide the guidelines necessary for using and distributing medical countermeasures.

FINAL REPORT: Advancing Technology in Biological Surveillance and Detection

The terrorist use of anthrax against the United States in 2001 pointed out the nation’s vulnerability to biological attack and need for rapid and sure response. Since that time, strengths and limitations of the current biodetection system have been discovered. To achieve a better preparedness posture, now is the time to reevaluate biodetection methods and build unity of effort at all levels of government.

Concurrent Distribution of Anthrax Vaccine & Antibiotics

Current plans for combatting the effects of an anthrax attack at the local level include the use of antibiotics. Although federal agencies recommend – and the Strategic National Stockpile provides – anthrax vaccine adsorbed as a medical countermeasure against such attacks, the vaccine currently is not included in the preparedness plans of many local health departments.

State & Local Medical Countermeasures: The 12-Hour Push

Emergency managers are working hard, on a continuing basis, to improve and support the national capability to assist in providing assets to affected areas during an extreme biological incident or emergency requiring medical countermeasures.

Identifying & Isolating Bio-Threats Before They Present

An emerging infectious disease or a bioterrorism attack must be prevented from spreading globally even when the effectiveness of predictive measures and detection programs is in question. In addition to current medical countermeasures, defending against biological threats may require the enforcement of control measures that rely on non-medical public health interventions.

Addressing Key Policy Issues Before the Next Catastrophe

Economic redevelopment, waste and fatality management, and the prioritization of cleanup operations are just a few of the key policy issues that decision makers must consider and address before the next anthrax attack or other disaster strikes. Having a clear strategy, effective management plans, and solid relationships with partners who are critical to the effort will help reduce unnecessary delays when the time comes to respond and recover.

Protecting Civilian Emergency Responders Against Anthrax

There is general agreement that the best way to protect emergency responders against anthrax would be to immunize them prior to an attack. But, despite the fact that millions of “expired” doses of anthrax vaccine are routinely destroyed each year, many civilian responders still are not provided pre-event vaccinations. This raises two questions: (a) Why? and (b) Why not?
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