(U//FOUO) Many innocuous reasons exist for the possession of some types of biological agents and associated laboratory equipment. For example, hobby, educational, or artistic uses such as home brewing or pilot-scale biotechnology research may include the same or similar equipment used in the malicious production of pathogens (see Figure). In some instances, however, the presence of a biological laboratory at an unconventional site could be an indicator of possible intent or capability to conduct bioterrorism.
FOUO DHS Biosecurity Infrastructure Protection Assessments and Activities Brief, August 2009.
In the wake of recent terrorist attacks and increasing fears about the spread of highly contagious diseases, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and pandemic influenza, federal, state, and local governments have become increasingly aware of the need for a comprehensive public health response to such events.
– Antigenic characteristics
– Transmission characteristics
– Severity of disease
– Antiviral resistance
– Intensity (surge) in US cases
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.
The Surgeon General, with the approval of the Secretary, is authorized to make and enforce such regulations as in his judgment are necessary to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the States or possessions, or from one State or possession into any other State or possession. For purposes of carrying out and enforcing such regulations, the Surgeon General may provide for such inspection, fumigation, disinfection, sanitation, pest extermination, destruction of animals or articles found to be so infected or contaminated as to be sources of dangerous infection to human beings, and other measures, as in his judgment may be necessary.