• A superbug could spread to every single person on Earth in one year

    If certain conditions obtain, a particularly contagious virus would spread across the planet and infect every single person on Earth in one year; the conditions: it must be a strain of influenza, originate in a major city, and arise during the winter

  • Phone call patterns reveal emerging disease outbreaks

    People who come down with a fever or full-blown flu tend to move around less and make fewer calls late at night and early in the morning; a trial shows that monitoring the calling patterns of individuals in a trial group correctly identified flu victims in the group 90 percent of the time; epidemiologists say this method may be applied nation-wide to convey telltale signatures of illness to doctors and agencies monitoring new outbreaks

  • Anti-dengue mosquitoes to be released in Australia and Vietnam

    Some 100 million people in the tropics get dengue fever each year, and 40,000 are killed by it; the virus’s range is expanding, and last week France reported its first locally acquired cases; Australian scientists will release mosquitoes called Wolbachia that infect the disease-carrying Aedes mosquitoes, and makes them less able to carry the dengue virus; the release will take place in Australia and Vietnam

  • Sea floor organisms offer response to bioterrorism

    Two companies, with $30 million funding from the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency, will search for new antibiotics at the bottom of the ocean that could be used to fight bioterrorism; the companies expect to find treatments for the bubonic plague, Yersinia pestis, and other bacterial infections that could be utilized by terror groups for an attack on the United States

  • A new dual vaccine protects against both smallpox and anthrax

    A new protective vaccine against both smallpox and anthrax, two agents of bioterrorism, shows promise in animal models; the new vaccine more quickly elicited immunity and was more effective than the licensed anthrax vaccine, BioThrax, in protecting mice and rabbits against anthrax

  • Georgia county tests drive-thru shot clinic

    Decatur County, Georgia, Health Department’s drive-thru flu shot clinic was held last Friday, and more than 250 people received their vaccination; the important thing, said Sherry Hutchins, Decatur of the County Health Department, is that “The clinic—- gives the health department a chance to test our ability to swiftly, efficiently dispense medicines during a mass-exposure event like a bioterrorism attack, a disaster or an influenza pandemic”

  • Virus related to smallpox rising sharply in Africa

    Thirty years after the eradication of smallpox, and the end of the mass smallpox vaccination campaign, rates of a related virus known as human monkeypox have increased dramatically in the rural Democratic Republic of Congo, with sporadic outbreaks in other African nations and even the United States

  • Aethlon Medical says its Hemopurifier can serve in counter-bioterror applications

    Aethlon Medical says its Hemopurifier says the device is the first medical device selectively to target the removal of infectious viruses and immunosuppressive proteins from the entire circulatory system, and as such it is the most advanced and perhaps the only true broad-spectrum countermeasure against viral threats most likely to be weaponized against civilian and military populations

  • CDC says U.S. prepared to investigate urgent disease reports

    CDC recently released a new report that found that all fifty states have the ability to investigate urgent disease reports, including bioterror attacks, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week

  • U.S. training developing world's docs to detect outbreaks earlier

    U.S.-funded program helps health workers in developing countries track disease and speed response to outbreaks; the CDC has established 35 programs since 1980, mostly in developing countries, with funding from several U.S. government agencies and nongovernmental organizations, and has 11 more in the works. Participants investigated 216 outbreaks in 2009

  • Researchers develop next generation antibiotics to combat drug-resistant "superbugs"

    Each year 90,000 people in the United States die of drug-resistant “superbugs” — bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a deadly form of staph infection resistant to normal antibiotics; certain bacterial strains include enzymes which help the bacteria to inactivate antibiotics — and a team of researchers are working on turning this powerful mechanism against the bacteria itself

  • Docs: drug-resistant superbug is "time bomb" requiring global response

    Researchers warn that the spread of a drug-resistant bacterial gene could herald the end of antibiotics; the bleak prediction follows his research into a drug-resistant bacterial gene called NDM-1, or New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1, which was first identified in India; the bug was found attached to E.coli bacteria, but the enzyme can easily jump from one bacterium to another and experts fear it will start attaching itself to more dangerous diseases causing them to become resistant to antibiotics

  • U.S. to bolster defense against infectious threats

    The Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise Review, released yesterday at a press conference by HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius, concludes that despite the massive investments in biodefense after 9/11 and the 2001 anthrax attacks, the United States is still way too slow when it comes to responding to emerging health threats

  • Superbug found in British patients returning from treatment in Asia

    An antibiotic-resistant superbug has been found in British patients traveling to Asia for cosmetic surgery, cancer treatment, and transplants and returning to Britain for further care; the bug was found attached to E.coli bacteria, but the enzyme can easily jump from one bacterium to another and experts fear it will start attaching itself to more dangerous diseases causing them to become resistant to antibiotics; in Many Asian countries health standards in many Asian countries are poor and regulations are weak, and antibiotics are available to buy without prescription; this is thought to have encouraged resistance to develop as many infections are exposed to the drugs without being properly killed

  • Finding a smallpox vaccine for the event of a bioterror attack

    Smallpox is a potentially fatal and highly contagious infectious disease, estimated to have killed between 300 million and 500 million people in the first half of the twentieth century; the world was declared free of smallpox in 1980 — concern about the use of smallpox by bioterrorists spurs new research into vaccines