Tag Archives: bioterrorism

Bioterrorism remains top concern for U.S. security experts

Bara Vaida

About Bara Vaida

Bara Vaida (@barav) is AHCJ's core topic leader on infectious diseases. An independent journalist, she has written extensively about health policy and infectious diseases. Her work has appeared in outlets that include the National Journal, Agence France-Presse, Bloomberg News, McClatchy News Service, MSNBC, NPR, Politico and The Washington Post.

Photo: Lab Science Career via Flickr

The U.S. government was worried about a potential anthrax attack during the recent Super Bowl, according to U.S. Homeland Security department documents found in the seat-back pocket of a commercial airline by a CNN employee.

The news is illuminating in that it shows not only an incredible security lapse but also that federal employees are continuing to train state and local law enforcement and emergency responders for a potential bioterrorism attack. Continue reading

NIH lifts ban on dangerous pathogen research

Bara Vaida

About Bara Vaida

Bara Vaida (@barav) is AHCJ's core topic leader on infectious diseases. An independent journalist, she has written extensively about health policy and infectious diseases. Her work has appeared in outlets that include the National Journal, Agence France-Presse, Bloomberg News, McClatchy News Service, MSNBC, NPR, Politico and The Washington Post.

The National Institutes of Health recently announced it would renew funding research enabling scientists to alter pathogens to make them more dangerous, raising questions about whether the Trump administration had opened the door to a potential pandemic.

The decision follows a three-year ban on such funding after several accidents at federal laboratories in 2014. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab accidentally exposed workers to anthrax and shipped a deadly flu virus to another lab that had asked for a benign strain. The NIH found vials of smallpox in a freezer that had been forgotten about and thus weren’t secure. Continue reading