On 5 February 2010, the UK Health Protection Agency (HPA)—an official British Government agency—announced the confirmation of one case in England of a heroin user testing positive for anthrax. HPA also said 19 cases of anthrax had been confirmed so far in Scotland and that the heroin, or a contaminated cutting agent mixed with the heroin, was the likely source of infection.
The Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) is an emergency preparedness project intended to prepare 72 major metropolitan areas for an aerosolized anthrax terrorist attack covering a large geographic region and the subsequent need to provide prophylactic medication to the affected population. The National Capital Region (NCR) has been identified as a location to implement this initiative. This document outlines necessary and supplemental components that enable the rapid distribution of prophylaxis to large populations.
Since 2004, HHS has awarded nine contracts using its Special Reserve Fund (Fund) purchasing authority under the BioShield Act to procure countermeasures that address anthrax, botulism, smallpox, and radiation poisoning. HHS may procure countermeasures that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration and ones that are unapproved, but are within 8 years of approval.