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  • Emerging Infections & Biothreats

    Public health emergencies caused by infectious threats have the potential to kill thousands or millions of people. These threats can emerge naturally as outbreaks or pandemics, such as influenza (pandemic and seasonal), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), extremely-drug resistant (XDR) tuberculosis, New Delhi metallo-b-lactamase 1 (NDM1), antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, and HIV/AIDS. Or, they can emerge deliberately through bioterrorism, such as the 2001 anthrax attacks or potential threats posed by smallpox, tularemia, and plague. Infectious threats can undermine not only patient care and public health, but also national security. Influenza pandemics, for example, have a long history of devastation in terms of lives lost, hospitalizations, and destabilizing national economies. 

    Each day, infectious diseases physicians and scientists serve on the front lines in protecting us from such threats. IDSA advances U.S. preparedness and response initiatives by promoting appropriate action by health care providers, strengthened public health and research efforts, development of life-saving countermeasures (vaccines, drugs and diagnostics), and implementation of appropriate non-therapeutic control measures.

    Pandemic and Seasonal Influenza Principles

    IDSA’s Efforts on Public Health Emergencies and Biothreats

    6/1/2015

    IDSA Co-Authors Brief on Preparedness for Emerging Infections (PDF)

    IDSA joined Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the UPMC Center for Health Security calling for the United States to take additional steps to prepare for MERS-CoV and other emerging infections.  The brief argues that public health and healthcare systems cannot afford to become complacent in preparing for infectious disease threats and that system-wide preparedness is needed for potential outbreaks.
    2/3/2015

    IDSA Submits Testimony To Congress Urging Better Investments for Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PDF)

    In connection with a February 2015 Congressional hearing, "Examining the US Public Health Response to Seasonal Influenza," IDSA submitted written testimony highlighting the importance of building a strong public health infrastructure to protect the public from severe illness and death caused by seasonal influenza.  The letter urges a greater investment in public health preparedness as well as research and development programs for influenza vaccines and antivirals.
    10/29/2014

    IDSA Pledges Support to U.S. Ebola Response Coordinator Ron Klain (PDF)

    In a letter to newly-appointed U.S. Ebola Response Coordinator Ron Klain, IDSA President Dr. Stephen Calderwood outlined the Society's Ebola response efforts to date and volunteered IDSA's expertise and resources to help the federal government coordinate the U.S. and global response.
    9/14/2012

    IDSA Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza Principles for U.S. Action (PDF)

    IDSA's Pandemic and Seasonal Influenza Principles for United States Action are to educate and federal policymakers and assist the US Department of Health and Human Services' Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and other agency officials, about how best to prepare for and respond to seasonal and pandemic influenza.
    5/20/2014

    IDSA Submits Comments on 2015-2018 Draft National Health Security Strategy (PDF)

    IDSA submitted comments to the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) on the agency's 2015-2018 draft National Health Security Strategy (NHSS).  IDSA applauds the agency's comprehensive approach to national security and the inclusion of "One Health" principles in the strategy, while offering substantive comments on various components of the NHSS most relevant to ID physicians and their patients.
    4/23/2013

    IDSA Comments on Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern (PDF)

    IDSA Supports the principles underlying the draft U.S. Government (USG) policy, but urges the USG to re-define the scope of oversight and provide much more specific guidance, analytical tools and other resources to assist institutions in implementation.
    12/14/2012

    IDSA Comments on HHS H5N1 Select Agent Proposal (PDF)

    IDSA advocates balancing the public health risk of impeding the conduct of H5N1 research against the public health risk of an accidental laboratory release or act of bioterrorism.  IDSA recommends that naturally occurring H5N1 viruses and vaccine strains be regulated as HHS select agents with current biosafety and biosecurity regulations, while H5N1 viruses that have been engineered for greater transmissibility or pathogenicity be regulated as Tier 1 select agents, and with increased biosafety and biosecurity restrictions.
    12/21/2011

    IDSA Comments on FDA Development of Multiplexed Diagnostics (PDF)

    FDA sought comments on options being considered for the performance validation of highly multiplexed microbiology/medical countermeasure (MCM) diagnostic devices.  In responding to the FDA concept paper, IDSA addressed the clinical and public health need for better infectious diseases diagnostic devices, clinical considerations for device design, and key issues for device validation.
    2/3/2015

    IDSA Submits Testimony To Congress Urging Better Investments for Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PDF)

    In connection with a February 2015 Congressional hearing, "Examining the US Public Health Response to Seasonal Influenza," IDSA submitted written testimony highlighting the importance of building a strong public health infrastructure to protect the public from severe illness and death caused by seasonal influenza.  The letter urges a greater investment in public health preparedness as well as research and development programs for influenza vaccines and antivirals.
    11/13/2012

    Groups Urge Congress to Reauthorize Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) (PDF)

    IDSA joined over 40 health organizations and companies to urge Congress to reauthorize PAHPA, wich includes key preparedness programs such as the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), the BioShield Special Reserve Fund, Public Health Emergency Preparedness grants, and the Hospital Preparedness Program.
    9/20/2012

    IDSA Urges Timely Reauthorization of Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) (PDF)

    IDSA sent a letter to key congressional negotiators urging them to quickly pass PAHPA reauthorization and to include a Senate provision creating a Strategic Investor to leverage venture capital for the development of new medical countermeasures.
    2/15/2012

    IDSA Comments on Preparedness Legislation (PDF)

    IDSA sent a letter to congressional sponsors of House and Senate legislation to reauthorize the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) urging that key provisions from each chambers' proposal be included in the final legislation.
    1/25/2013

    Renewing the Project BioShield Act: What Has it Brought and Wrought? (PDF)

    Dr. Robert Kadlec writes that Project BioShield has achieved its strategic objectives and merits continued support and funding.  He argues that the President and Congress should affirm its value as a critical insurance policy against potential chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks.
    3/13/2012

    The Project Bioshield Act: Issues for the 112th Congress (PDF)

    Grotton, Congressional Research Service March 13, 2012.

    A report on the Project Bioshield Act that gives the federal government new authorities over the development, procurement, and use of medical countermeasures against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism agents.  Congress is currently considering whether these authorities have sufficiently contributed to national preparedness to merit extension.

    11/30/2011

    Information Sharing and Collaboration: Applications to Integrated Biosurveillance--Workshop Summary

    Public Workshop Summary, Institute of Medicine Workshop on Information Sharing and Collaboration:  Applications to Integrated Biosurveillance November 30, 2011.

     

    Summary of an Institute of Medicine workshop exploring the information-sharing and collaboration processes needed for the nation's integrated biosurveillance strategy.

    10/4/2011

    Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) Strategic Plan 2011-2016

    The BARDA Strategic Plan defines a set of core principles that will improve BARDA's ability to manage resources efficiently, strengthen public-private partnerships, and promote the broad categories of countermeasures that BARDA is most interested in pursuing to protect health and save lives in a public health emergency.

 

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