HHS Partners to Develop New Treatment for Seizures Caused by Nerve Agents

A new treatment for seizures that cannot be stopped with current medicines will be developed under an agreement between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and Proniras Corporation. Uncontrollable seizures are a devastating result of exposure to nerve agents and can be deadly or lead to permanent brain damage.

Engineers Create Social Media Infrastructure for Emergency Management

Purdue researchers have developed an online platform that enables first responders to monitor emergency situations using tweets and Instagram posts. Called the Social Media Analytics and Reporting Toolkit (SMART), the browser-based platform filters social media content according to key words and geographic regions defined by the user.

HHS Purchases Anthrax Antitoxin for Strategic National Stockpile

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response will purchase an anthrax treatment as part of the department’s ongoing national preparedness efforts. The product will be delivered to the Strategic National Stockpile, the nation’s largest supply of potentially life-saving medical countermeasures, for use in a public health emergency.

FDA Authorizes New Use of Test, First to Identify the Emerging Pathogen Candida Auris

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the first test to identify the emerging pathogen Candida auris (C. auris), which can cause serious infections in hospitalized patients (e.g., bloodstream infections) and is frequently resistant to multiple antifungal drugs used to treat Candida infections.

Healthcare Response to a No-Notice Incident: Lessons Learned From Las Vegas Festival Shooting

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) staff spoke with responding agencies from the 1 October 2017 Route 91 Harvest Music Festival Las Vegas shooting to help identify lessons learned that can help other communities, specifically members of the nation’s 476 health care coalitions, prepare for, respond to, and recover from these traumatic, no-notice incidents.

FLIR Systems Receives Delivery Order Totaling $25.6 Million From the U.S. Department of Defense for DR-SKO Systems

FLIR Systems Inc. announced it has received a $25.6 million delivery order for 22 U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Dismounted Reconnaissance Sets, Kits, and Outfits (CBRN DR-SKO) systems. The delivery order is under a five-year indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract from the U.S. Department of Defense.

New Joint Effort Boosts Drone Standards for Public Safety Officials

The National Fire Protection Association and ASTM International are joining forces to help the growing number of public safety professionals who want to use drones – also known as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – to help protect and save lives. The two standards developers signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support a joint working group of about two dozen top experts in public safety and drone technology. 

S&T Announces Release of Mobile Security R&D Program Guide Vol. 2

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate released its 2018 Mobile Security Research and Development (R&D) Program Guide. The informational guide features an in-depth overview of the Mobile Security R&D Program strategy as well as summaries of the program’s two project areas: Mobile Device Security and Mobile Application Security.

Decontamination Decoded: Disrobing, Dry Wiping Removes 99% of Chemical Contaminants

ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority sponsored a set of scientific studies at the University of Hertfordshire on chemical decontamination. The results of these studies, codified as the Primary Response Incident Scene Management (PRISM) Guidance for Chemical Incidents, will help local emergency management planners and first responders prepare for and respond to disasters involving chemical agents.

Deep South, Southwest, Mountain West Regions Still Lag Behind in Overall Health Security and Emergency Preparedness

An annual assessment of the nation’s day-to-day readiness for managing health emergencies improved significantly over the past five years, though deep regional differences remain. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released the 2018 National Health Security Preparedness Index, which analyzes 140 measures to calculate a composite score that provides the most comprehensive picture of health security available.