Updates

Combating and Containing the Ebola Outbreak

As a critical part of the global response, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is developing and deploying medical countermeasures, which may help save lives by protecting individuals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from infection and may reduce the severity of disease. Within HHS, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response plays a critical role in medical countermeasure development and use.

S&T Testing Smart Sensor to Enhance Emergency Communications

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), in conjunction with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is researching approaches to bring the possibilities of Internet of Things to emergency communications for first responders. S&T is testing the Wearable Alert and Monitoring System, a multicomponent communications system.

HHS’ BARDA Funds Its First Marburg Virus Vaccine Development

To increase national health security against biothreats and protect public health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will partner with Public Health Vaccines LLC of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to develop a potential vaccine against Marburg virus. No licensed vaccine for this virus exists today. The Marburg virus is part of the family of hemorrhagic fever viruses that includes Ebola.

Making It Modern: PNNL Infuses Innovation Into Nation’s Electric Grid

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are helping to lead a transformation of the nation’s century-old electric grid by developing and deploying new technologies to enhance its reliability, resiliency, and security.

FDA Takes New Steps to Protect Food Products From Deliberate Attacks

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a revised draft guidance to support compliance with the intentional adulteration (IA) rule set forth under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. The IA rule is designed to address hazards that may be intentionally introduced to foods, including by acts of terrorism, with the intent to cause widespread harm to public health.

Emergent BioSolutions Awarded U.S. Department of State Contract to Supply Medical Countermeasures for Chemical Warfare Agents

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. announced that it has signed an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract with the U.S. Department of State to establish a long-term, reliable, and stable supply chain for medical countermeasures that address chemical warfare agents. Emergent will be supplying two of its current medical countermeasures addressing chemical threats: the Trobigard® atropine sulfate/obidoxime chloride auto-injector and RSDL® (Reactive Skin Decontamination Lotion Kit).

FEMA Releases PrepTalk: “Saving Lives After a Nuclear Detonation”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its emergency management partner organizations today posted online Brooke Buddemeier’s PrepTalk “Saving Lives After a Nuclear Detonation.” In his PrepTalk, Buddemeier shares the importance of sheltering after a nuclear detonation and provides emergency managers with tools to help citizens, responders, and city officials get ready.

Center for Health Security Makes Recommendations for Heightening Awareness and Motivating Action Around Global Catastrophic Biological Risks

A new report by a team of researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security reframes the discussion of the most severe biological threats to provide policy advocates with an additional tool to help them catalyze expansive international support for work on pandemic prevention and response.

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Safety Rule to Strengthen Oil Train Spill Response Preparedness

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration, issued a final rule that requires railroads to develop and submit Comprehensive Oil Spill Response Plans for route segments traveled by High Hazard Flammable Trains.

Juvare™ Acquires Australia/New Zealand WebEOC™ Distributorship From Critchlow Ltd.

Juvare, the leader in incident preparation and response technology and maker of WebEOC, announced it has acquired the WebEOC distribution business of its Australia/New Zealand partner, Critchlow Ltd. The strategic transaction connects regional users of WebEOC with a thriving global user network and grants access to the larger portfolio of Juvare solutions.