Tag Archives: smallpox

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

Medical defense focuses on anthrax, H1N1

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Project BioShield was formed because the United States government felt it needed to support the development of “medical countermeasures” such as vaccines, drugs, therapies, and diagnostic tools to help recover from possible chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks. Launched in 2004, the project will spend $5.6 billion over a 10-year period as part of a broader strategy to defend America against the threat of weapons of mass destruction.

At the halfway point, Project BioShield has accomplished the following, according to a GAO report:

  • Supported the development of seven medical countermeasures, all against either anthrax, botulism, radiological/nuclear agents or smallpox.
  • Given emergency authorization for the use of seven products (or uses of products) not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, all to combat either anthrax (two products) or H1N1 (five). One of the anthrax authorizations was in response to a military emergency.