Monitoring USG action on readiness and response
Preparedness Pulsepoints | Monitoring USG action on readiness and response
Published by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security
Sanjana Ravi, MPH, Editor
June 19, 2018
Public Health & Healthcare Preparedness
HHS Makes $350 Million Available to Fight the Opioid Crisis in Community Health Centers Nationwide. These funds will support health centers in implementing and advancing evidence-based strategies, including expanded medication-assisted treatment services, and are expected to be awarded in September of this year by HHS's Health Resources and Services Administration.   (Department of Health & Human Services, 6/15/18)

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Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Kellogg's Honey Smacks Cereal. There have been 73 ill people reported from 31 states, including 24 people who have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. (CDC, 6/15/18)
Legionnaires Disease Surveillance in US Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Facilities and Assessment of Health Care Facility Association. Researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Cincinnati VA Medical Center found that although total Legionnaires disease rates increased, health care system-associated (overnight stay) rates decreased significantly, suggesting that prevention efforts may have contributed to improved patient safety in these settings.  (JAMA, 6/15/18)
Report Spotlights Achievements of FDA-Mexico Produce Safety Partnership. The FDA-Mexico Produce Safety Partnership was formed in July 2014, forging a stronger relationship between the FDA and Mexico's National Agro-Alimentary Health, Safety, and Quality Service and its Federal Commission for the Protection from Sanitary Risk. We are pleased to share that our partnership is making real progress toward our goal of reducing the risk of foodborne illness associated with our produce trade. (FDA, 6/15/18)

CDC Director Redfield: Long-Term Investment in Global Health Security Most Critical. Recently named director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield told a gathering of global health experts this week that the most critical investment that can be made is in global health security, with the recent fast response to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo setting the example.  (Health Policy Watch, 6/14/18)
Early-Stage Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Vaccine Trial Begins. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, has launched a clinical trial of an investigational vaccine designed to protect against respiratory syncytial virus. The Phase 1 study will enroll a small group of healthy adult volunteers to examine the safety of an experimental intranasal vaccine and its ability to induce an immune response. (NIAID, 6/14/18)
Appropriations Committee Releases the Fiscal Year 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Funding Bill. In total, the draft bill includes $177.1 billion in discretionary funding, essentially the same as the 2018 enacted level. The bill targets investments in medical research, public health, biodefense, education, and important activities that help promote job readiness. (US House Committee on Appropriations, 6/14/18)
Partnership for Disaster Health Response. ASPR aims to better identify and address gaps in coordinated patient care during disasters through the establishment and maturation of a Regional Disaster Health Response System (RDHRS). The RDHRS structure is conceptualized as a tiered system that builds upon the existing Medical Surge Capacity and Capability foundation for local medical response by enhancing coordination mechanisms and incorporating discrete clinical and administrative capabilities at the state and regional levels. To that end, ASPR will fund two partnerships that will serve as demonstration sites for implementation of the RDHRS concept.  (, 6/14/18)
Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 Infection: Developing Systemic Drug Products for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability. This draft guidance provides nonclinical and clinical recommendations specific to the development of systemic drug products, with a focus on long-acting systemic drug products, regulated within the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) at FDA for the prevention of sexually acquired human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infection. (Federal Register, 6/14/18)
Communication for the 2018 Hurricane Season. CDC's National Center for Environmental Health is joining the Emergency Partners Information Connection on June 19, 2018, at 1 p.m. ET. They will discuss the 2018 hurricane season, the health risks hurricanes bring, and communication options that responders and community leaders can use to lessen those risks. (CDC, 6/13/18)
Medical Benefits Now Available for Veterans Subjected to Chem-Bio Tests. Military Veterans may be eligible to receive medical care if they participated in US Army chemical or biological substance testing from 1942 to 1975 and have an injury or disease that they believe was proximately caused by their participation. (Global Biodefense, 6/13/18)
Why are CDC Disease Detectives in a Cave Crawling with Snakes? In 2008, Brian Amman found himself in Python Cave looking for that food source: a population of roughly 50,000 Egyptian fruit bats. Scientists believed they could be carriers for Marburg virus, a hemorrhagic fever virus closely related to Ebola, and they were studying the bats' behavior to try to understand how the disease spreads from animals to humans. (Wired, 6/13/18)
Sniffing Out Disease: Dogs Trained for Wildlife Disease Surveillance. The dogs are part of a collaborative 12-month program to evaluate the effectiveness of training and using dogs to detect and identify waterfowl feces or carcasses infected with avian influenza. If successful, this collaboration may be extended an additional 12 months.  (USDA, 6/12/18)
Healthcare System Readiness for Highly Pathogenic Infectious Diseases. ASPR has released the slide deck from a recent TRACIE presentation on the tiered Ebola healthcare response system and how to use resources developed to support highly infectious disease readiness and response efforts. (ASPR, 6/12/18)
SECURE Act Funding Supports CDC Efforts to Recruit Physicians to Respond to Disease Outbreaks. Hoping the SECURE Act will become part of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2018, US Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced the bill to provide medical school loan repayment -- up to $50,000 a year -- for doctors who enter the EIS.  (Homeland Preparedness News, 6/12/18)
Outbreak of Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) Infections among Persons Who Use Drugs and Persons Experiencing Homelessness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state health departments are investigating hepatitis A outbreaks in multiple states among persons reporting drug use and/or homelessness and their contacts. This Health Alert Network (HAN) Advisory alerts public health departments, healthcare facilities, and programs providing services to affected populations about these outbreaks of hepatitis A infections and provides guidance to assist in identifying and preventing new infections. (CDC, 6/11/18)
Today's Life-Saving Ebola Vaccine Was Spurred By The 2001 Anthrax And 2004 Ricin Attacks. Congress passed the Project BioShield Act, a $5.6 billion research effort to develop and acquire medical vaccines and treatments to protect against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) attacks. To date, BioShield funding has facilitated the procurement of 27 medical countermeasures for diseases and other agents considered national security threats, including products for smallpox, anthrax, and botulinum, with seven products that were funded in the development stage clearing the high hurdle of FDA approval. (Forbes, 6/10/18)
Homeland Security & Disaster Preparedness
DHS S&T Collaborating with FEMA to Deliver Comprehensive Puerto Rico Recovery Plan. FEMA has also enlisted inter-agency assistance from the US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Department of Commerce, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to respond to complex challenges in Puerto Rico recovery efforts. (Homeland Preparedness News, 6/18/18)
Critical Infrastructure Protection: Progress and Challenges in DHS's Management of Its Chemical Facility Security Program. The Department of Homeland Security has made progress addressing challenges that GAO's past work identified to managing the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program. This report summarizes progress made and challenges remaining in key aspects of the program.  (GAO, 6/14/18)
DoD Seeks Partners for Chemical Biological Operational Analysis Improvements. The US Army is conducting market research on partnering to accelerate the development of technologies that will enable personnel to assess, protect and mitigate chemical and biological threats. (Global Biodefense, 6/13/18)
Coast Guard Participates in Caribbean Disaster Response Exercise. Tradewinds is a combined, joint exercise conducted in three phases that helps build the capacity of Caribbean nations to respond to natural disasters, land and maritime threats and illicit trafficking.  (Department of Defense, 6/11/18)
Engaging Faith-Based and Community Organizations: Planning Considerations for Emergency Managers. This guide provides a foundation for emergency managers to engage with faith-based and community organizations that can be partners in building a culture of preparedness and enhancing the security and resiliency of our nation. Faith-based and community organizations offer a wide variety of human and material resources that can prove invaluable during and after an incident.  (FEMA, 6/18)
Science & Technology Policy
In the Trump Administration, Science is Unwelcome. So is Advice. As the president prepares for nuclear talks, he lacks a close adviser with nuclear expertise. It's one example of a marginalization of science in shaping federal policy. (New York Times, 6/9/18)
This Week's Hearings
Opioids in the Homeland: DHS Coordination with State and Local Partners to Fight the Epidemic. US House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency. 6/19/18, 12:30 PM. Speaker Matthew J. Ryan Legislative Office Building (Room 205), the Pennsylvania Capitol Complex, Harrisburg, PA. More


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