Rapid advances in pathogen genomics have ushered in a new era of “precision public health.” Next-generation sequencing is already enabling more effective investigations of outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, better-targeted tuberculosis control, and more timely and granular influenza surveillance to inform the selection of vaccine strains.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the first Project BioShield contract to fund the advanced development needed to support the expanded use of an existing antibiotic to treat exposure to inhalational anthrax. If the additional development work is successful, the antibiotic could become the first antibiotic developed and procured through Project BioShield to treat potentially drug-resistant bioterrorism agents.
When disaster strikes, critical infrastructure failures – from loss of power and water to failures of information technology infrastructure and systems – can follow. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response’s Division of Critical Infrastructure Protection has tools, resources, and partnerships to help respond more effectively in an emergency.
A new intentional adulteration (IA) online training course has been made available. The “IA Food Defense Plan Preparation and Reanalysis” online course was developed through a partnership between the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) Intentional Adulteration Subcommittee and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of Ervebo, the first FDA-approved vaccine for the prevention of Ebola virus disease (EVD), caused by Zaire ebola virus in individuals 18 years of age and older. Risk of EVD in the U.S. remains low, but the U.S. government remains committed to fighting Ebola outbreaks in Africa.
In just the last decade, the nation has faced three serious influenza-related incidents. Containing an influenza-related pandemic will require layered end-to-end solutions: better diagnostics, closer to the patient; improved therapeutics, especially for hospitalized patients; and, perhaps most importantly, better vaccines that are produced in the United States using more modern, fast, and flexible technologies.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is studying how canines might be used in active shooter scenarios, to detect potential explosive threats – clearing the way for responders to quickly engage hostile adversaries or administer aid to those who need it.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a six-year, $226 million contract to increase capacity to produce recombinant influenza vaccine in the United States. The contract is in accordance with the 19 September 2019 presidential executive order to enhance national security and the public health by modernizing influenza vaccines and technologies.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the global launch of CURE ID, an internet-based repository that will allow the clinical community to report their experiences treating difficult-to-treat infectious diseases with novel uses of existing FDA-approved drugs through a website, a smartphone, or other mobile device.
A new self-assessment tool is available to help emergency communication centers (ECC) and public safety answering points (PSAP) administrators and oversight personnel evaluate a system’s Next Generation 911 (NG911) maturity state and understand the next steps necessary to continue deployment. The NG911 Self-Assessment Tool is now available online at 911.gov.