“We [the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] are adding reconstructed replication competent forms of the 1918 pandemic influenza virus containing any portion of the coding regions of all eight gene segments to the list of HHS select agents and toxins. We are taking this action for several reasons. First the pandemic influenza virus of 1918-19 killed up to 50 million people worldwide, including an estimated 675,000 deaths in the United States. Also, the complete coding sequence for the 1918 pandemic influenza A H1N1 virus was recently identified, which will make it possible for those with knowledge of reverse genetics to reconstruct this virus. In addition, the first published study on a reconstructed 1918 pandemic influenza virus demonstrated the high virulence of this virus in cell culture, embryonated eggs, and in mice relative to other human influenza viruses. Therefore, we have determined that the reconstructed replication competent forms of the 1918 pandemic influenza virus containing any portion of the coding regions of all eight gene segments have the potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety.”
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Possession, Use, and Transfer of Select Agents and Toxins— Reconstructed Replication Competent Forms of the 1918 Pandemic Influenza Virus Containing Any Portion of the Coding Regions of All Eight Gene Segments
- March 18, 2005
“This document establishes a final rule regarding possession, use, and transfer of select agents and toxins. The final rule implements provisions of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 and is designed to protect public health and safety. In a companion document published in this issue of the Federal Register, the United States Department of Agriculture has established corresponding final rules designed to protect animal and plant health and animal and plant products.”
- March 18, 2005
If terrorists released Bacillus anthracis over a large city, hundreds of thousands of people could be at risk of the deadly disease anthrax-caused by the B. anthracis spores-unless they had rapid access to antibiotic medical countermeasures (MCM). Although plans for rapidly delivering MCM to a large number of people following an anthrax attack have been greatly enhanced during the last decade, many public health authorities and policy experts fear that the nation’s current systems and plans are insufficient to respond to the most challenging scenarios, such as a very large-scale anthrax attack. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response commissioned the Institute of Medicine to examine the potential uses, benefits, and disadvantages of strategies for repositioning antibiotics. This involves storing antibiotics close to or in the possession of the people who would need rapid access to them should an attack occur.
Prepositioning Antibiotics for Anthrax reviews the scientific evidence on the time window in which antibiotics successfully prevent anthrax and the implications for decision making about prepositioning, describes potential prepositioning strategies, and develops a framework to assist state, local, and tribal public health authorities in determining whether prepositioning strategies would be beneficial for their communities. However, based on an analysis of the likely health benefits, health risks, and relative costs of the different prepositioning strategies, the book also develops findings and recommendations to provide jurisdictions with some practical insights as to the circumstances in which different prepositioning strategies may be beneficial. Finally, the book identifies federal- and national-level actions that would facilitate the evaluation and development of prepositioning strategies.
Recognizing that communities across the nation have differing needs and capabilities, the findings presented in this report are intended to assist public health officials in considering the benefits, costs, and trade-offs involved in developing alternative prepositioning strategies appropriate to their particular communities.
- January 30, 2012
The Center for Biosecurity’s meeting, Preserving National Security: The Growing Role of the Life Sciences (3/3/2011, Washington, DC) focused on the expanding and evolving connections between advances in the life sciences and U.S. national security.
The summary that follows provides a brief synopsis of panel discussions and individual presentations. Read More »
- March 22, 2011
On November 25, 1969, President Richard Nixon announced the end of the U.S. offensive biological weapons program. This case study, the first in the WMD Center Case Study Series, sheds light on the interagency policymaking process at multiple levels of the U.S. national security bureaucracy and shows how the BW decision emerged from a confluence of international, domestic, bureaucratic, and personal factors.
- March 13, 2013