By Forum on Emerging Infections, Board on Global Health, Stacey L. Knobler, Adel A.F. Mahmoud, Leslie A. Pray
Within the wake of September eleventh and up to date anthrax occasions, our nation's bioterrorism reaction potential has develop into an forthcoming precedence for policy-makers, researchers, public healthiness officers, academia, and the non-public quarter. In a three-day workshop, convened via the Institute of Medicine's discussion board on rising Infections, specialists from every one of those groups got here jointly to spot, make clear, and prioritize the subsequent steps that have to be taken as a way to arrange and increase bioterrorism reaction functions. From the discussions, it grew to become transparent that of extreme urgency is the necessity to forged the difficulty of a reaction in a suitable framework in an effort to allure the eye of Congress and the general public with a view to garner adequate and sustainable aid for such projects. irrespective of how the difficulty is forged, a number of workshop individuals agreed that there are numerous gaps within the public overall healthiness infrastructure and countermeasure features that has to be prioritized and addressed so that it will guarantee a swift and powerful reaction to a different bioterrorist assault.
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Extra info for Biological Threats and Terrorism: Assessing the Science and Response Capabilities, Workshop Summary
Congress, our nation’s government, pharmaceutical companies, the public sector, and the partnerships within and among all of these various sectors of society. Three years ago, hearings began within the Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee on whether we were vulnerable to a biological assault. The answer was yes, it was very clear that there was a threat and that we were highly vulnerable. The risk had risen as a result of the progression of science, the end of the Cold War, the lack of balance and counterbalance in power, the increase in terrorist activity, and many other dynamics.
The extraordinary and elegant work that John Collier and his colleagues have done on the mechanisms of the pathogenesis of anthrax has revealed multiple targets for intervention and serves as an excellent example of the long-term benefits that stem from basic research. We must continue investing in these types of studies if we, as a scientific research community, are truly going to address adequately the long-term threat of bioterrorism. The goal of diagnostics research is to apply the available technologies in the development of rapid, sensitive, easy-to-use tools that can be used to identify cases in civilian settings and assist in case management.
Even though our nation has experienced its first lethal bioterrorism attack, we cannot assume that the public and critical policy makers truly understand the threat that still looms before us. We need to continue to clearly define the threat. The recent anthrax attack was as close to a traditional HAZMAT type of event as a biological event could be in terms of a defined source and in the sense that teams could arrive at the site, define a perimeter, and identify who needed care. But we need to emphasize that there are many potential biological scenarios that could unfold in a very different way that would require a different focus, different strategies, and different investments.
Biological Threats and Terrorism: Assessing the Science and Response Capabilities, Workshop Summary by Forum on Emerging Infections, Board on Global Health, Stacey L. Knobler, Adel A.F. Mahmoud, Leslie A. Pray