Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
Author: Rodney L. Wallace, Director, Detection, Diagnostics, and Devices Infrastructure Division, HHS/ASPR Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority Published Date: 6/6/2019 10:36:00 AM
Category: Innovations; Medical Countermeasures; Hospital Preparedness;
The first commercially available Zika virus diagnostic, a product BARDA supported through its advanced research and development program, received authorization for marketing from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on May 23. The test provides results from a blood sample in about four hours. Called the ZIKV Detect 2.0 IgM Capture ELISA, the test exemplifies the progress that is possible with public-private Read more…
Author: Efrain E. Garcia, Ph.D.,Health Scientist, Division of CBRN Countermeasures, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response
Published Date: 5/24/2019 9:29:00 AM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Exercises & Trainings;
In communities across the country, people rely on Emergency Medical Services (EMS) professionals to make quick, life-saving decisions. Becoming an EMS professional takes years of training that you can directly apply during most disasters and emergencies, such as hurricanes, floods and earthquakes.
However, do you know how to effectively decontaminate yourself or patients following a chemical event?
Decontaminating people Read more…
Author: Brian Tse, Oxana Selivanova, Claiborne Hughes, and Mark Albrecht Published Date: 5/13/2019 9:42:00 AM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Medical Countermeasures; National Health Security;
Bacteria evolve and change, becoming more dangerous and deadly, and often developing resistance to existing medical countermeasures. Consider some of the resistance problems we face today. In recent years, we’ve seen increasing incidences of multi-drug resistant salmonella, gonorrhea, and typhoid, just to name a few examples. Now, think about what would happen if evolution or terrorists created antibiotic-resistant strains of biothreat agents, such as anthrax, plague, tularemia, mel Read more…
Author: Robert Kadlec, MD, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Published Date: 3/14/2019 4:13:00 PM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Medical Countermeasures; Response & Recovery; Innovations;
Blog Series: Battling the Ebola Epidemic
Ebola reemerged as a health threat in 2018, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where two outbreaks of Ebola virus disease have occurred since May 2018. The first of these two outbreaks, in western DRC, was quickly contained. However, the second outbreak, in eastern DRC, has yet to be contained due in large part to the volatile security situa Read more…
Author: Darrin Donato, Senior Policy Analyst for the Office of Strategy, Policy, Planning, and Requirements within HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and Michael Fucci, Jr. Management Analyst with Aveshka Inc. in support of the Office of Strategy, Policy, Planning, and Requirements, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Published Date: 2/13/2019 9:26:00 AM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; National Health Security;
National Health Security Strategy: Blog 3
As we scan the threat landscape as a new year begins, we find that we face a range of evolving threats to national health security. Among these risk are emerging infectious diseases that could lead to pandemic and the potential for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) emergencies.
An increasing number of immunocompromised and/or unvaccinated people (especially children), global mobility, population density acceleration, urbanization, and a growi Read more…
Author: By Ruben Donis, Ph.D., Pandemic Influenza Medical Countermeasures Division, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Published Date: 12/13/2018 9:13:00 AM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Innovations; National Health Security;
As part of our nation’s overall pandemic preparedness strategy, HHS set a preparedness goal of establishing and maintaining a stockpile of bulk vaccine antigen and adjuvants for influenza viruses with pandemic potential to vaccinate 26 million people immediately after a pandemic is declared. BARDA began pre-pandemic influenza vaccine procurement in 2005 for vaccines that would provide protection against emerging avian influenza H5N1 viruses posing a significant pandemic threat. But a decade later we were compelled to ask how long would those stored vaccine components Read more…
Author: Judith Laney, Ph.D., Chief, BARDA Chemical Medical Countermeasures programs, and LTC Matthew Clark, Ph.D., Joint Product Manager, Chemical Defense Pharmaceuticals, Medical Countermeasure Systems Published Date: 10/31/2018 10:35:00 AM
Category: Medical Countermeasures;
With the recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the drug Seizalam® (midazolam injection) as an anti-seizure medication, the United States took a step forward in protecting Americans from a potentially deadly health effect of chemical weapons.
Over the last 25 years, there has been increased use of chemical weapons. Delivering effective medical countermeasures against nerve agents is essential to saving civilians’ lives in the United States, and is necessary to ensure that the Joint Force maintains mission effectiveness to protect the nation.
H Read more…
Author: Robert P. Kadlec, MD, MTM&H, MS, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Steven H. Walker, Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Published Date: 10/1/2018 3:06:00 PM
Category: Innovations; Medical Countermeasures;
On September 18, marking seventeen years since the first anthrax attack in the United States, the President unveiled a National Biodefense Strategy and signed a National Security Presidential Memorandum which directed federal agencies to collaborate on biodefense, including budgets, to make the nation safer.
That spirit of interagency collaboration is reflected in a new partnership forged between ASPR and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – DARPA – to strengthen the capa Read more…
Author: Brian Tse, PhD, Project Officer, BARDA Antimicrobial Medical Countermeasures Branch, and Mark Albrecht, PhD, Acting Chief, BARDA Antibacterial Medical Countermeasures Branch Published Date: 8/27/2018 5:41:00 PM
Category: Medical Countermeasures;
In 1954, Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin, began warning against the potential for bacteria to become resistant to the new antibiotic. Just over a decade later, in July 1968, physicians documented the first human case of a superbug known as MRSA, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Fast forward 50 years, and MRSA has become just one of many drug-resistant infections healthcare providers and patients battle every day.
Back in the 1950s and 60s, drug manufacturers were developing an array of new antibiotics so resistance did not seem im Read more…
Author: Robert P. Kadlec, MD, MTM&H, MS, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Published Date: 8/10/2018 12:54:00 PM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; National Health Security; Medical Countermeasures; Response & Recovery;
HHS’ Vision for Healthcare Preparedness is a multi-part blog series that describes ASPR’s four pillars to achieving national health security: providing strong leadership, building a Regional Disaster Health Response System, sustaining public health security capabilities, and advancing an innovative medical countermeasures enterprise. This blog focuses on sustaining public health security capabilities. Read the next post in the series here.
A catastrophic health emergency – whether n Read more…
Author: Rick Bright, Director, and Julie Schafer, Acting Director of Strategy, both of ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a component of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Published Date: 7/13/2018 4:20:00 PM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Innovations; Public Health Preparedness; National Health Security;
In the 20th century alone, smallpox deaths worldwide numbered in the hundreds of millions. Roughly one-third of people infected with the disease died, while survivors were often left with permanent scars or blindness. After an aggressive global vaccination program in the mid-1970s, the World Health Organization declared smallpox eradicated.
But smallpox remains a health security threat in the 21st century. Fears that undeclared stocks of the smallpox virus might exist and that they could be used as weapons of bioterrorism spurred the U.S. government’s Biomedical Advance Read more…
Author: Rick Bright, Director, and Julie Schafer, Acting Director of Strategy, both of ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a component of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Published Date: 5/21/2018 4:56:00 PM
Category: Innovations; Public Health Preparedness; Observances; Medical Countermeasures; National Health Security;
BARDA and its industry partners have made tremendous strides to build better, faster, and more flexible vaccine technologies to enable the right vaccine to be where we need it, when we need it. Combating this age-old problem is an epic challenge, and there is still work to be done to speed availability of life-saving vaccines in a pandemic.
In September 1918, a doctor stationed at Camp Devens, a military base located near Boston, Massachusetts, wrote a letter to a colleague:
Author: Judith Wolfe Laney, PhD, Chief of Chemical Medical Countermeasures, Division of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Countermeasures within BARDA at the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Published Date: 4/11/2018 9:31:00 AM
Category: Exercises & Trainings; Medical Countermeasures; Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery; Innovations;
Last month, a truck carrying 4,400 gallons of hydrochloric acid collided with a train in Centerville, PA. For several hours, a column of white vapor floated above the wreckage. Emergency responders acted quickly to evacuate residents in the area and clean up the spill.
On a daily basis, thousands of businesses use our nation’s roads and railways to transport hazardous chemicals used for industrial or household purposes. Whether a chemical is released by accident, such as the case in Centerville, or intentionally by rogue assailants, terrorist organizations, or non-state acto Read more…
Author: HHS/ASPR Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority Published Date: 11/20/2017 1:55:00 PM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Innovations; Public Health Preparedness;
In the wake of an anthrax attack, medical responders need to quickly determine who has been infected so that they can be effectively treated. A rapid, accurate diagnostic test is an essential tool for doctors and other health professionals to effectively triage people who may be infected with anthrax. Such a tool has been long requested by medical responders as a critical component of anthrax preparedness.
On September 27, 2017, BARDA awarded a $3,199,221 base period of a contract to Tangen BioSciences Inc. of Branford, CT to further advance and expand the ability to combat Read more…
Author: Mark Albrecht, Project Officer, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Published Date: 8/30/2017 1:21:00 PM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Public Health Preparedness; Innovations; National Health Security;
Antibiotics underpin nearly every facet of modern medicine. You can’t have a hip replacement or a caesarean section without effective antibiotics to prevent or treat bacterial infections. The same holds true in a mass public health emergency involving a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) threat. During a biodefense emergency, people may be hospitalized for prolonged periods, potentially exposing them to secondary infections including drug-resistant infections that are occurring at an alarming rate.
That’s why BARDA is focused on development and approval of Read more…
Author: Mary J. Homer, PhD, Chief of Radiological and Nuclear Countermeasures Branch, HHS/ASPR/BARDA and Lynne Wathen, Biodosimetry Team Leader in the Diagnostics and Medical Devices Division, HHS/ASPR/BARDA Published Date: 8/2/2017 10:22:00 AM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Innovations; Public Health Preparedness;
Although an odd couple at first glance, NASA and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority in the office of the HHS ASPR share a common interest: protecting people from radiation injury.
Author: Tyler Merkeley, MS, MBA, CARB-X Program Manager, BARDA Published Date: 3/30/2017 11:50:00 AM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Medical Countermeasures; Innovations; National Health Security;
It’s about the people. Picture a worried mother from Arizona walking into the hospital with her 11-year-old daughter. The girl had gone from tired to intense hip pain and a high fever in just a few days. A blood test revealed a potentially fatal condition called sepsis from a Staphylococcus infection. The infection had begun as an abscess in her hip muscle, spread into her blood, and eventually caused a devastating antibiotic-resistant bacterial pneumonia in her lungs.
Mom sat day-in and day-out watching her daughter’s health rapidly fade; tubes ran all over her body, and a Read more…
Author: Narayan Iyer, Ph.D., Chief, Burn MCM, CBRN, BARDA; Julio Barrera-Oro, Ph.D.; Danielle Turley, Ph.D.; David Simon, Ph.D.; Oxana Selivanova, Ph.D.; Joe Larsen, Ph.D. Director (Acting), CBRN, BARDA; and Gary Disbrow, Ph.D. Deputy Director (Acting), BARDA.
Published Date: 2/6/2017 9:46:00 AM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Public Health Preparedness;
Thousands of people could need burn care following a nuclear detonation (which produces intense heat resulting in severe burns) or in a massive explosion. In addition to those catastrophic threats, between 2010 and 2014, emergency departments treated approximately 486,000 people for non-fatal burn injuries and in 2014 alone, fires took the lives of 3,275 people. Specialized treatment resources are limited, with only 127 burn centers nationwide; a mass casualty incident easily could overwhelm the nation’s burn care infrastructure.
Within ASPR, the Biomedical Advanced Re Read more…
Author: Rick Bright, Director, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Published Date: 1/9/2017 5:24:00 PM
Category: Innovations; Medical Countermeasures; Public Health Preparedness;
The U.S. government has marked another significant milestone in its effort to better protect Americans against the Zika virus: the first ASPR-supported Zika vaccine has begun a Phase I clinical trial, which will evaluate the general safety of the vaccine in people and provide information on the ways that different doses of the vaccine impact immune response.
The investigational vaccine developed by Moderna Therapeutics of Cambridge, Massachusetts, utilizes a novel messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine technology. Moderna’s vaccine consists of a small piece of mRNA that when injec Read more…
Author: George W. Korch, Jr., Senior Science Advisor, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Published Date: 12/5/2016 12:41:00 PM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Innovations; Hospital Preparedness; Medical Countermeasures; Response & Recovery;
When the first confirmed case of Zika transmission was reported in Puerto Rico on December 31, 2015, there were no vaccine candidates for Zika. Today there are at least a dozen approaches in the US alone that are being evaluated to someday be available for general use. Diagnostic assays to help patients make informed decisions about their health are also under development.
How have so many medical countermeasures advanced so quickly to fight a threat that few people were worried about just last year?
The partners in the Public Health Emergency Medical Enterprise (PHEM Read more…
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