june 2013

Updates

FDA Obtains Waiver From European Commission to Facilitate Export for U.S. Pharmaceutical Manufacturers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that the U.S. is now a "listed" country with the European Commission so that U.S. companies need not obtain an export certificate from the FDA before shipping certain pharmaceutical products to Europe.

Healthcare

Listeria - When Food Bites Back

by Dana Pitts -

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in six Americans suffer from food poisoning each year; most of those cases are attributed to familiar pathogens like Salmonella. However, the deadliest U.S. foodborne disease outbreak in nearly a century was caused by a lesser known, but much more fatal bacteria in 2011 - Listeria monocytogenes.

Healthcare

Governmental Laboratories: Protecting the Public's Health

by Chris N. Mangal -

The Annual Meeting of the Association of Public Health Laboratories hosted more than 500 participants who share the common goal of improving public health efforts and laboratory preparedness. Through workshops and online resources, people from multiple disciplines can learn more about the role of public health laboratories in detecting and investigating emerging threats.

Updates

NCDC Releases 2012 Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters Information

The 2012 billion-dollar events included seven severe weather and tornado events, two tropical cyclone events, and the yearlong drought and its associated wildfires. With 11 events, 2012 also ranks second highest in total number of billion-dollar events behind 2011, which had 14 events.

Updates

HGH Infrared Systems Introduces Their Border Solution

HGH Infrared Systems, Spynel camera is a complete, high resolution, near real time, thermal camera with full panoramic imaging coupled with detection and tracking software. While effective and inexpensive, the system can monitor miles of perimeter on land or at sea. Differing from traditional systems, Spynel can also detect threats day or night, in any weather condition as well as through brush and between trees and fences.

Updates

Written Testimony of OHA BioWatch Program Manager Dr. Mike Walter for a House Committee on Energy & Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations Hearing 'Continuing Concerns Over BioWatch & the Surveillance of Bioterrorism'

Bioterrorism remains a continuing threat to the security of our nation. A biological attack could impact any sector of our society and place enormous burdens on our nations public health, with a rippling effect on critical infrastructure. The Office of Health Affairs (OHA) believes strongly that a comprehensive surveillance approach includes environmental and clinical surveillance, as well as point-of-care diagnostics.

Updates

Rapid National Expansion of Smart911 Continues During First Half of 2013

Rave Mobile Safety, the trusted partner for campus and public safety, now deployed across 31 states, provides additional protection for more than 11 million citizens during emergency situations. Smart911 allows citizens to create a free online safety profile, which automatically displays at participating public safety answering points when a 9-1-1 call is placed, enabling emergency responders to arrive at the right location, with the right personnel and the right equipment.

Preparedness

Promoting Food Security in Disaster Relief Situations

by Scott McCallum -

Providing food to the hungry entails gathering donations, distributing food, and tracking every step of the process to keep the supply chain safe and secure. To do this efficiently, public and private partnerships have been formed to create a robust distribution system that is not only reliable but also scalable in times of disaster when relief is most urgently needed.

Resilience

Counter-Agroterrorism 101

by Patrick Rose -

Some biological agents - anthrax and ricin, for example - can be used as weapons against human targets; others specifically attack animals and food crops. Both types of attack, though, can have devastating effects on the economy and on the morale and overall wellbeing of a nation. To mitigate these threats, the public and private sectors must cooperate to recognize and close existing gaps.

Healthcare

Early Detection of Zoonotic Emerging Infectious Diseases

by Thomas Cotter & Earl Stoddard -

Working with several allies throughout the world, U.S. public-health agencies have significantly improved the nation's ability to detect, analyze, and counter a broad spectrum of infectious diseases before they reach the pandemic stage. More effort, though, is still needed in cooperation with the private sector - the biggest and most vulnerable link in the U.S. food supply chain.

Updates

EPA Report Details How Development Can Impact Public Health, Environment

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its most comprehensive review to date on how the built environment - the way the nation builds its cities and towns - directly affects the environment and public health. The publication is important and timely because population growth and demographic changes will substantially alter the way the nation is developed over the next half century and beyond.

Updates

Salamander's RAPID-TAG System Assists First Responders During Arkansas Tornados

When a devastating April 2013 tornado tore through several towns in Van Buren County, officials were able to put Salamander equipment to work. This new standard of emergency management, supplied by Salamander, is known as Intelligent Accountability, and it is altering the way emergency officials manage disasters.

Updates

FDA Clears First Blood Tracking Device That Uses RFID Technology

"The iTrace for Blood Centers device has the ability to enhance blood safety by helping to ensure that unsuitable units are not released," said Karen Midthun, M.D., director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. "iTrace for Blood Centers will be used in blood establishments by trained personnel as a tool in streamlining blood collection and processing and aiding in product tracking and reconciliation."

Updates

HHS Funds Drug Development for Bioterror Infections, Pneumonia

Advanced research and development is underway for an antibiotic that potentially could treat children infected with anthrax, tularemia or community-acquired bacterial pneumonia. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority will support this advanced research and development.

Commentary

FINAL REPORT: BIODEFENSE - The Threat, the Cost & the Priority

by Stephen Reeves -

The biothreat topic is important not only for the actual risk of attack, but also the perceived risk. To be sufficiently prepared, a balance must be reached - for security, technology, and situational awareness. This report addresses various key components of biodefense - the threats, the costs, and the priorities.

Healthcare

Defending the Food Supply: The Basic Recipe

by Michéle Samarya-Timm -

Protecting the food supply chain and defending against intentional contamination requires preventive/defensive efforts at all levels of government, particularly within local communities. All stakeholders therefore must be able to identify vulnerabilities, integrate federal requirements, and determine the resources and training needed to effectively protect the nation's food supply.

Resilience

Protecting the Milk Supply During a Foreign Animal Disease Outbreak

by Danelle Bickett-Weddle & Pamela Hullinger -

With thousands of farms and millions of cattle scattered across the United States, regulators, dairy producers, and veterinarians strive to protect the nation's food supply, including the milk supply chain from cow to breakfast table. Emergency preparedness planners, therefore, must work with agricultural suppliers to protect milk and other food products.

Updates

BioFire Obtains CE IVD Mark for FilmArray Blood Culture Identification Panel

BioFire Diagnostics Inc. has announced that it has obtained the CE IVD Mark under the European Directive on In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices for the company's FilmArray Blood Culture Identification (BCID) Panel. The FilmArray BCID Panel is designed to help hospitals identify infection-causing organisms in the bloodstream more rapidly than is possible with conventional identification methods.

Preparedness

Food Safety: An Emergency Manager's Perspective

by Kay C. Goss -

Protecting a nation's food supply chain is a major concern in all political jurisdictions, but can be made less difficult by, among other actions: implementing mitigation controls; enforcing inspections, assessments, and compliance; ensuring international food safety; improving rapid-response capabilities; and developing preparedness partnerships.

Updates

EPA Awards More Than $4.3 Million in Partnership With NSF and NOAA for Climate and Air Quality Research

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), working in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has announced the allocation of more than $4.3 million in grants to 13 institutions studying ways to develop a better understanding of how certain organic compounds form in the atmosphere.

Updates

New 'Instant Notification System' App for Bomb Squad Response & Investigation Now Available for Free Download

The Instant Notification System (INS) App provides a way for bomb technicians responding to a suspect device or vehicle to share relevant information with other bomb squads either while en route or at the incident site. Information can be updated with a few clicks on a smartphone dropdown menu after resolution of the incident or during ongoing investigations.

Reports

Social Media in the Emergency Management Field

The CNA, in partnership with the National Emergency Management Association, funded the development and nationwide distribution of a survey to state, county, and local emergency management and response agencies in late 2012 to answer questions about social media use in emergency management. By taking a survey approach, the survey partners were able to provide a broader, complementary perspective to existing anecdotes and case studies. This report provides the key results of that survey.

View Full Report
Updates

NIH to Fund Clinical Research Network on Antibacterial Resistance

"Antibacterial resistance is a serious and growing public health threat that is endangering the global medical community's ability to effectively treat conditions ranging from simple skin infections to tuberculosis," said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a major agency of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Updates

ThreatTrack Security Prepares IT Admins for Unprecedented Cybersecurity Challenges

"The security game has changed, and the people on the front lines are not members of some clandestine government agency. They are the IT admins working inside enterprises around the globe who are scrambling to bolster their defenses against a new breed of sophisticated malware," said ThreatTrack Security Chief Executive Officer Julian Waits, Sr.

Updates

EPA Survey Shows $384 Billion Needed for Drinking Water Infrastructure by 2030

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the results of a survey showing that $384 billion is needed through 2030 for infrastructure improvements that will keep the nation's drinking water safe for all Americans using the system at that time.

Preparedness

The Boston Bombings - Redefining Shelter in Place

by Rodrigo (Roddy) Moscoso -

When a bomb explodes, a biological or chemical agent is released, or an active shooter is at large, time is of the essence. In some situations, having residents shelter in place, although costly and inconvenient, may be the fastest and only way to stop the perpetrator and reduce the number of lives lost both during and following the incident.

Resilience

Protecting Water, Diluting Threats, Saving Lives

by Joseph Cahill -

Water, water everywhere, and all of it fit to drink. Reservoirs supply drinking water to communities throughout the United States. Protecting such a large area, including the surrounding land, poses many challenges and raises red flags when unauthorized visitors come too close.

Updates

DQE Introduces the Privacy Cube to Quickly Create Private Space During Emergencies

Create private spaces anywhere, right where they are needed. The Privacy Cube can be assembled to create a square-shaped area with a variety of emergency response uses: modesty during decontamination; medical surge treatment; responder rehab privacy; crime scene isolation; fatality management; and many more.

Updates

FEMA and Ad Council Help Americans Prepare for Severe Weather

Recent severe weather disasters and the start of the Atlantic hurricane season reinforce the need for Americans to familiarize themselves with the look, sound, and authenticity of real-time Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs). To encourage, educate, and empower Americans to identify WEAs so they can take the steps needed to prepare for emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Ad Council are unveiling new public service advertisements.

Updates

GammaTech Rugged Durabook TA10 Tablet Now Available for Industrial & Field Applications

"Our latest industrial-strength tablet not only withstands the harshest elements, but also is loaded with features that make it the ideal unit for both industrial workers inside a building as well as workers out in the field," commented Jen Chen, GammaTech president.