Tag: covid 19

Fogging- A Powerful Disinfecting Layer for Biohygiene ?

By: Nelly Nastase

 

Fogging- A Powerful Disinfecting Layer for Biohygiene?Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), most likely spreads through invisible respiratory droplets created when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Those droplets can be inhaled by nearby people or land on surfaces that others might touch, spreading the infection when they touch their eyes, nose, or mouth (Science, 2020).

There is a lot that is not fully known about the new SARS-CoV-2 virus, like how long does it remain active in the air or on surfaces. According to a recent study, the virus remains in the air for up to 3 hours and approximately 2-3 days on stainless steel and plastic surfaces (Van Doremalen et al, 2020). Another study found that a related SARS-CoV-1 virus that causes SARS can persist up to 9 days on non-porous surfaces such as plastic or stainless steel (Kampf et al, 2020).

Downloadable Report → Fogging- A Powerful Disinfecting Layer for Biohygiene ?

Several reports found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been detected in feces, indicating that the virus can spread by people who don’t properly wash their hands after using the bathroom (Wang et al, 2020). However, the CDC says there is no indication that it spreads through drinking water, swimming pools, or hot tubs (CDC, 2020a). The virus has been found to spread less effectively outdoors due to a variety of factors.

Previous research on the relationship between respiratory-borne infectious diseases and temperature have indicated that the ability of SARS and influenza viruses to spread decreased with increasing temperature (Jaakkola et al, 2014; Chan et al, 2011). The underlying hypothesis includes higher vitamin D levels, resulting in better immune responses (Aranow, 2011); increased UV radiation; and school holidays in the summer. Reports of correlation between respiratory diseases and the levels of UV radiation have also been considered, and previous studies have reported that high levels of UV exposure can reduce the spread of SARS-CoV virus (Duan et al,
2003).

However, according to the current results, the cumulative incidence rate and R0 of COVID-19 holds no significant association with ambient temperature, suggesting that ambient temperature has no significant impact on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (Yao et al, 2020). This is similar to the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) epidemic, where the MERS coronavirus continued to spread even at temperatures of around 45°C (Alshukairi et al, 2018).

Measures to minimize airborne transmission of COVID-19 indoors include sufficient and effective ventilation, possibly enhanced by particle filtration and air disinfection, avoiding air recirculation, and avoiding overcrowding (Morawska et al, 2020).

Fogging is a deep cleaning method that has been used in hospitals for dealing with MRSA. Fogging uses an antiviral disinfectant solution to clean and sanitize large areas of a building quickly and effectively by spraying a fine mist from a spray gun, which is then left to evaporate, usually for less than an hour. It can kill off viruses and other biological agents in the air and on surfaces. The task requires full protection from the sprayed chemicals. The product used is safe on electronics and other equipment as the mist is exceptionally fine to penetrate all areas to kill off the virus effectively.

Fogging should be conducted only using products whose product label specifically includes disinfection directions for fogging, fumigation, or wide-area spraying. It means that the product’s safety and efficacy have been evaluated by the EPA, specifically for fogging. Otherwise, the product might not be effective in disinfecting surfaces by fogging (EPA.gov, 2020a). The EPA has been expediting applications to add directions for use with electrostatic sprayers to products intended to kill SARS-CoV-2 (EPA.gov, 2020b).

Wet or chemical fogging employs a fine mist of disinfectant solution which remains on surfaces for several hours until it evaporates. Dry fogging, on the other hand, uses smoke to treat the area, leaving no chemical trace behind. The main advantages of fogging are the ability to cover large areas quickly and effectively; the ability to reach areas difficult to clean using other techniques. It eliminates pathogens in the air and on all surfaces, including furniture, walls, and ceilings.

The downsides are that it requires a thorough cleaning in advance as dirt and other materials might cover parts of a surface, protecting it from the effects of the biocide spread by fogging; the chemicals used are often more expensive than other disinfectants, and the required amount depends on the size of the space that is being disinfected. However, fogging is cost-effective because it allows the rapid disinfection of large areas with minimal disruption.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation can be used for non-contact disinfection, where UV-C light is used to kill or inactivate pathogens by damaging their DNA or destroying nucleic acids. UV disinfection is commonly used to treat water – its advantages are lack of chemical agent, ease of use, and low economic cost. The lack of chemical agent means that UV disinfection can be used as often as needed, without any fear of long-term consequences for the operator or the client.

However, UV disinfection requires a direct impact of UV radiation for some time – if the light shines indirectly, or is obscured by dirt or something else, the disinfecting effect is lost. Also, prolonged exposure to UV light can be harmful to humans – skin exposure can produce sunburn and skin cancer. In addition, eye exposure can damage the cornea or, in rare cases, the retina, leading to temporary or permanent vision impairment or even blindness. The risk is compounded by the fact that UV light is invisible to the human eye. Therefore, the operation of UV disinfection equipment requires caution.

Rehydration Solutions: Use During COVID-19 Pandemic

By: James Mayo & Blanca Lizaola-Mayo MD

 

Water is a critical nutrient. All known life forms depend on water; it is considered as one of the best solvents for inorganic matter because it exhibits the highest known polarity. Besides, it also exhibits extremely high heat capacity, making it a superior heat regulator. In the human body, water’s role as a solvent – where it dissolves ionic compounds to create solutions that allow transport of metal ions across molecular membranes – is the one with the most significant consequences for our health and well-being.

During day-to-day activities, a person typically loses about two liters of water through breathing, sweat, urine, and bowel movements. This is increased significantly during exercise when fluid loss can be up to two liters per hour. In addition to water, sweat contains different metal ions: mostly sodium (range 10-70 mEq/L) and chloride (range 5-60 mEq/L) (Baker, 2015). During the COVID19 pandemic, hydration is imperative for well-being. In addition, staying active is critical for both physical and mental health. Physical activity helps our mind and body in many ways (VicHealth, 2020; Health.gov.au, 2020). But it is essential to be careful as increased physical activity can lead to dehydration if one is not adequately prepared.

Downloadable Report → Rehydration Solutions: Use During COVID-19 Pandemic

Physical exertion places a strain on our immune system. At a higher level of physical exertion, our immune system undergoes significant changes: an increase in stress hormones and cytokine concentrations, changes in body temperature, an increase in blood flow, and dehydration (Nieman, 2007). These changes create a window of 3 to 72 hours when the immune system is impaired, potentially allowing pathogens to gain a foothold in the human body. Fluid replacement is the most effective countermeasure against exertion-related immune perturbations. In addition, a study of thermal dehydration has shown that the changes to hematologic parameters during thermal exposure without exercise are remarkably similar to those during physical exercise (Ohira et al., 1981). Dehydration has the same effect on the human body, regardless of the level of physical activity, and it should always be treated with caution.

Many essential workers have had a significant increase in their workload during the pandemic. The use of personal protective equipment requires more exertion to complete any task, and its relative scarcity during the pandemic means that people spend more time using it than they usually  would. COVID-19 patients commonly exhibit fever, diarrhea, and vomiting as symptoms of the disease. If left unattended, it can lead to severe dehydration, exacerbating their symptoms and making their recovery more difficult.

The issue of dehydration is much more common and dangerous, especially when considering the risks that front line medical workers are facing. Therefore, the proper use of rehydration tools, while seemingly small, can make a big difference: it can help front line medical workers, and their patients fight the disease and help everyone else stay healthy during these challenging times.

Oral rehydration solutions (ORS) are specialized formulations, usually in the form of a powder which contains a mixture of essential salts and sugar that are dissolved in water to create a drink that facilitates faster absorption of water in the human body. Their efficacy is based on the ability of sugar to stimulate sodium and fluid absorption in the small intestine via a cyclic AMPindependent process (Binder et al., 2014). The addition of zinc was found to significantly reduce the duration and severity of diarrheal episodes and the likelihood of subsequent infections for 2-3 months (Khan et al., 2011).

ORS was developed in the 1970s to treat severe dehydration resulting from severe diarrhea without the logistical needs of intravenous hydration using sterile solutions. There have been several significant modifications to ORS since, to improve its efficacy and effectiveness. Original formulations were iso-osmolar: they had the same osmolarity of 311 mOsm/kg H2O as the fluid in the human cells. However, several studies have shown that hypo-osmolar food-based formulations performed better in clinical trials (Gore et al., 1992). It was subsequently determined that hypo-osmolar glucose-based formulations also have superior performance and that this was due to lower osmolarity of these formulations (Duggan et al., 2004). Since then, reduced osmolarity formulations have been adopted by many countries as the standard ORS formulations (Walker et al., 2009).

While ORS has been well established for treating dehydration caused by diarrhea, especially in children, it has not been widely adopted to treat dehydration caused by other medical conditions. Even though ORS is not a drug, it is inexpensive and is ideal for common usage to treat conditions  before drugs are employed. One of the reasons may be that ORS does not alleviate the symptoms of the underlying illness: reduce diarrhea, for instance, but corrects acute dehydration. There is a lack of awareness about the existence of ORS and its ability to prevent dehydration in a variety of conditions. ORS may be used as a preventive tool to avoid dehydration.

Developing a New Model for Public Health During Pandemics

Join Us on August 13, 2020 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EDT

Learn about a new model for public health during pandemics, as well as Passive Immunity from expert thought leaders in biodefense, politics, sports, and media. Register at theabiforum.org

About this Event

Join CBS News Homeland Security Correspondent Jeff Pegues, Congressman Paul Gosar, The New Orleans Saints all-time leading wide receiver Marques Colston, Executive Director of American BioDefense Institute Dr. Ravi Starzl, Attorney and Veteran advocate John Berry, and IP strategist JiNan Glasgow George for a one of a kind forum hosted by The American BioDefense Institute.

Five months ago our health system was put to the test – and was found wanting. All around the globe, hospitals were overwhelmed, and leaders had to cope with an unprecedented and sudden impact on society. In the U.S. alone there have been over 150,000 deaths, tremendous unemployment, and major interruptions in many aspects of American life including business, law, and sports.

During the American BioDefense Institute forum, you’ll hear about a new model for public health that can interrupt the current pandemic, while ensuring our health system and society are better prepared for future threats. This symposium will provide expert data from thought leaders on how the pandemic has influenced sports, law, and business, as well as scientific research dedicated to addressing America’s BioDefense.

This forum is moderated by the great Jeff Pegues, CBS News Homeland Security Correspondent, featuring:

Congressman Dr. Paul Gosar who will be discussing the latest Congress is doing regarding the pandemic

Dr. Ravi Starzl will dialogue about a new public health model and explain the concept of passive immunity

Marques Colston, the New Orleans Saints all-time leading wide receiver and creator of Columbia Business School’s Executive education program for current and retired NFL players

Attorney John Berry will demonstrate changes to the legal system.

JiNan Glasgow George who will specifically address the pandemic’s influence on American Competitiveness

Don’t miss this historical opportunity to hear these great minds work together and address such a vital, immediate, and necessary topic. Register at theabiforum.org

The Vaccine Race Continues: Novavax Looks to Make Strides

As part of our ongoing look at how American companies are stepping up to confront the virus, we have news from Novavax brought to you by JiNan Glasgow George.

By securing a US federal grant of $1.6 billion for the development of 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, Novavax has joined the ranks of top COVID-19 vaccine producers in America. This recent deal marks the $4 billion investment milestone for vaccine development through public-private partnerships, also known as “Operation Warp Speed.” Moderna is another well-known American vaccine manufacturer that has secured over $500 million in federal grants. Notably, Magic Number’s Patent Radian® data covering the Pandemics/Epidemics technology sector shows Novavax & Moderna as the top two patent owners in this space. This data confirms the significant investment in research & development and patent assets by both companies – a hallmark of successful pharmaceutical and biotechnology commercial success..

CureVac AG, a German biopharmaceutical company, rounds out the top 3 patent owners in this list; CureVac has secured funding of $338 million from the federal government of Germany. CureVac and Moderna are pioneers in the mRNA vaccine market, while Novavax has introduced a novel approach of combining a proprietary adjuvant with a recombinant nanoparticle vaccine. The US government’s Operation Warp Speed investing a major share of its resources in Novavax may be a good bet, since the company has realized success in its Phase 1 trials and appears to have a solid foundation of patent assets. There is momentum here, and great expectation that Novavax will be producing an effective and safe vaccine by the end of 2020.

You can learn more about US patent assets owned by Novavax, Moderna, and Curevac for the last 2.5 years. Here Magic Number’s Pandemic Patent Forecast®.

 

JiNan Glasgow George
Contributor American BioDefense Institute
CEO Magic Number

August 2020 ABI Congressional Report

August-2020-ABI-Congressional-Report

 

The past four months have taught us how unprepared we were for a novel threat like COVID-19. ABI exists to collaborate with researchers, policymakers, and industry experts to ensure we never find ourselves this unprepared again.

Our Congressional Climate report is designed to give an overview of the current policy landscape. While we have begun to see discussion in Congress around developing more rapid responses, such as the recent work by Congressman Gosar of Arizona, there is much work yet to be done. We are calling for a fourprong model approach to health during pandemics going forward.

 

Specifically:
1. Self-care

Natural resistance to infection through physical barriers and the innate immune response is the first line of defense for all people. These systems prevent infection by most disease-causing organisms when you are exposed to small amounts of contagion. Clinical study has demonstrated that the function of each individual’s innate infection resistance can be improved by following some simple principles.

 

2. Rapid ‘Preventive Firebreak’ Response:Protection for New Bio Threats & Conditions

There is a large gap between self-care and vaccination that novel threats, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, can exploit to wreak havoc with lives and economies. A safe, effective, and rapid means of responding to these outbreaks is by creating passive immunity firebreaks that can be developed and deployed quickly to intercept and suppress infectious disease threats. This type of intervention is already well established in nature in the form of breastfeeding. A mother transfers her immune system to her child through her milk to help protect the child during the time when the child does not yet have an effective immune system of their own. A mother transfers her immune system to her child through her milk to help protect the child during the time when the child does not yet have an effective immune system of their own. By ‘borrowing’ the ‘mother’s immune system, the child is able to avoid more infections than it would experience without the benefit of passive immunity. If this could be replicated by utilizing antibodies in a way that can be scaled, it could produce a rapid response to established or emerging infectious disease threats alike—hence providing large-scale, inexpensive protection within 2-3 months of a novel threat.

 

3. Rescue response: Treatments for New Bio Threats & Conditions

When someone becomes seriously ill, a curative treatment to improve the prognosis of the disease is important. Antibodies are the primary means of intervening in an active case of infection because they facilitate the reduction of virus levels and speed up the recovery. Other examples of rescue medication can also be found in the form of steroids or other small molecule formulations. All of these are important options for a patient that is already critically ill and requires a means of improving their prognosis. While the utility of improving the prognosis of a critically ill patient is undeniable, the direct and indirect costs of illness, as well as the cost of the rescue medication, are very high. Thus, making avoiding illness in the first place, a far more desirable path to retaining health.

 

4. Development of Vaccines Fostering Natural and Herd Immunity

The long-standing utility of vaccines in public health cannot be overstated. Although many vaccines are of varying effectiveness and can be difficult to produce, the benefits far outweigh the costs. By reducing the number, length, and severity of cases an infectious disease creates, it reduces the impact on the overall community significantly. Long-term use of vaccines in conjunction with passive immunity firebreak treatments offers the most comprehensive protection for both individuals and communities. There are significant challenges still ahead. While we as a civilization have been fortunate to avoid a serious pandemic for decades, the COVID-19 pandemic has proven that this is a luxury we can no longer afford. Going forward, we have to accept that the next pandemic is inevitable, just as this one was – it is only a question of when it is going to occur and how severe it is going to be. The sacrifices made during this pandemic make it our duty to create a system that will be able to respond effectively in the future and protect what we have been unable to protect today.

 

Ravi Starzl PhD
Executive Director
American BioDefense Institute

Passive Immunity

The Next Generation of Pandemic Response

By Ravi Starzl

Passive Immunity The Next Generation of Pandemic ResponseImmunization is a process of fortifying an individual’s immune system against an agent, typically disease-causing pathogen or a toxin. When the immune system is exposed to foreign molecules, this will trigger an immune response. Because of immunological memory, our immune system is also able to develop the ability to respond quickly to any subsequent encounter with the same agent, which is a function of the adaptive immune system – a subsystem which responds within 4-7 days to a previously encountered foreign molecule. The concept of exposing the body to a foreign agent in a controlled manner to artificially activate the immune system and impart the ability of a quick response to a subsequent encounter due to immunological memory is called active immunization.

Downloadable Report → Passive Immunity

Active immunization gives the body the ability to produce antibodies to counter the pathogen or a toxin on its own. The most common technique of active immunization is vaccination, a process of introducing a microorganism or a virus in a weakened, live or killed state, or proteins or toxins from that microorganism, triggering the body’s adaptive immunity. This allows the body to quickly respond to a next encounter with the same pathogen or toxin. Inoculation refers to a method where the body is exposed to a milder form of a disease to induce immunity. It originated as a method of preventing smallpox, where dried smallpox macules were used to induce a generally milder form of the disease, which still induced full immunity to the disease. Compared to vaccination, it is inferior due to significantly higher risk – vaccination does not cause disease, even in its milder form, while inoculation does.

Passive immunization is a process of introducing antibodies into the body directly, rather than imparting on the body the ability to produce them. This still imparts immunity, however, because this immunity is not caused by the body’s immune system, it will only last as long as the introduced antibodies as present in the organism. This is called transient immunity. Antibodies have been used for the prevention and treatment of various diseases for centuries (Keller, 2000). Immunization by the administration of antibodies is a very efficient way of obtaining immediate, short-lived protection against infection or the disease-causing effects of toxins from microbial pathogens or other sources.

Due to its rapid action, passive immunization is often used to treat diseases caused by infection or toxin exposure. In bacterial diseases, antibodies neutralize toxins, facilitate opsonization, and, with complement, promote bacteriolysis. In viral diseases, antibodies block viral entry into uninfected cells, promote antibody-directed cell-mediated cytotoxicity by natural killer cells, and neutralize virus alone or with the participation of a complement. Prior to the discovery of antibiotics, antibodies were the only available treatment for a significant number of infectious diseases. They can be administered as:

  • human or animal plasma or serum
  • pooled human immunoglobulin for intravenous (IVIG) or intramuscular (IG) use
  • high-titer human IVIG or IG from immunized or convalescing donors
  • monoclonal antibodies (MAb).

Passive immunization occurs widely in nature to protect offspring against disease at birth and during lactation in mammals, through the transfer of immunoglobulins from mother to its offspring. This can be dated back hundreds of millions of years, to the primitive species of fish. In humans, the half-life of immunoglobulins (IgG) is about 3 weeks, making the maternal antibodies active in children 2-3 months old (Shahid, 2002). In birds (IgY) and fish (IgM), immunoglobulins have a shorter half-life of only a few days (Hedegaard, 2016). Passive immunization is not a real alternative to vaccination, as it does not confer long-term immunity. However, vaccines are not a viable option for immuno-compromised people, whose immune system is too weak to respond to an infection with its antibodies. Passive immunization provides immunity regardless of the body’s own response to infection, making it a viable option for these cases, too.

Due to the long-lasting immunization effects, vaccination is considered the superior method of imparting immunity. There are currently 27 diseases for which vaccines are available (World Health Organization, 2011). However, vaccination is only available for known diseases or known strains of viruses, and developing a new vaccine is a long and expensive process (Struck, 1996). As a consequence, many infectious diseases that have emerged over the past few decades have seen little or no vaccine development, due to a relatively small number of infections and perceived lack of commercial market for such products (Hixenbaugh, 2020). Long development and testing processes make vaccines eminently unsuitable as a rapid response tool for emerging diseases.

Even when a disease represents a mutated form of a known pathogen, there is no guarantee that the vaccine for the original pathogen would be fully effective, and in most cases, it is not (like with different influenza strains). This is particularly pertinent in today’s globalized world, where epidemics have a greater potential to spread worldwide than ever before. Therefore, while vaccines represent our best defense against infectious diseases, there is still a need for a “firebreak” – a set of measures designed to delay the spread of a disease long enough to allow for vaccine development. This report is meant to offer an introduction to the concept and strategy of passive immunity as a mechanism of rapid pandemic response and a broad overview of the current state of technology.

ReOpen America with American BioDefense Institute

The American BioDefense Institute is working with Congressional stakeholders to formulate solutions to reopen the American economy with built-in biodefense and biosecurity measures meant to minimize the prolonged impact of the COVID 19 pandemic. Our program includes a multi-layered biodefense and bio-hygiene strategy that can be used to eliminate or drastically reduce the introduction and proliferation of future pandemics globally.

This initiative is not exclusive to scientific safety measures and includes:

  • Collaborating with researchers to develop a new class of antivirals focused on developing preventive solutions for pandemics to provide rapid response to the current and future crisis.
  • First responder advisory
  • National, State, and localized economic reboot strategy
  • Bleeding edge infection tracing and disinfecting technology
  • BioSecurity and BioDefense virtual events for scientific researchers
  • Federal agency communication of pandemic focused intelligence sharing
  • Grassroots information socialization strategy
  • Minority and low-income community outreach program
  • and more.

ABI has a unified constituency of more than 15,000,000 grassroots enthusiasts to socialize our Reopen America campaign for a more expedient and enunciated effort for maximum impact. We are able to triple the distance in a fraction of the time for efforts in matters of biodefense. We’ve taken our process global via the addition of more than 50 Washington DC based embassies who will take our tools, tactics and procedures to their nations to reopen their economies in a bio-secure manner.

Find out more about American BioDefense Institute’s “Reopen America” campaign Here

Congressional Briefing: Novel G4 H1N1 Influenza

By Ravi Starzl

Novel G4 H1N1 Influenza coverThe high degree of national vulnerability to infectious respiratory disease observed during the COVID-19 pandemic brings into focus the need for rapid identification of similar emerging biothreats, to both enable early containment and development of countermeasures. The H1N1 influenza virus represents just such a threat – it is a known killer with a deadly history that possesses the ability to evolve serotypes that are both highly infectious and for which there is no established herd immunity. The possibility of a widespread H1N1 outbreak during the COVID-19 pandemic would compound the strain on regional medical systems, as there is no cross-protection between COVID-19 and H1N1 influenza immunity.

Downloadable Report → H1N1 Report

H1N1 is an influenza A subtype whose strains had been responsible for several known major flu epidemics, including the deadliest known flu pandemic in 1918-19. Different strains of the H1N1 virus are endemic to humans, pigs, and birds.

There have been three pandemics of influenza in the 20th century and one in the 21st century (Kilbourne, 2006). The H1N1 virus caused a significant and best-known pandemic in 1918-19 and the most recent one in 2009-10. In addition, there were three other notable epidemics in the 20th century that were not considered pandemics: (i) a pseudo pandemic in 1947 (that was not considered pandemic due to low death rates), (ii) 1977 epidemic that was pandemic in children, (iii) an abortive epidemic of swine flu in 1976 in Fort Dix, NJ. All of these were caused by strains of the H1N1 virus.

An antigenic variation of H1N1 caused the 1947 epidemic. One remarkable feature of this epidemic was the complete failure of the H1N1 vaccine with the 1943 H1N1 strain due to the antigenic drift of the 1947 virus. Millions of U.S. military personnel that were vaccinated were found to have no protection against the new strain of the H1N1 virus. Luckily, the epidemic caused relatively few deaths and is, therefore, considered to be a pseudo pandemic.

The 1976 outbreak of H1N1 was confined to Fort Dix, NJ, although it triggered a mass vaccination program that planned to vaccinate 43 million Americans. The vaccination was suspended after repeated reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome affecting vaccinated individuals in around a dozen states and seven times the higher reported incidence of swine flu in vaccinated individuals. There were indications that reporting bias was to blame for at least part of these cases, as there were no specific tests for Guillain-Barré syndrome, and the doctors were aware of the reported link between
the vaccination and the syndrome. In any case, the vaccination program was not reinstated, and the virus did not spread. This outbreak became a cautionary tale about overreacting to the danger
of an epidemic by initiating a pre-emptive vaccination program with a hastily developed and tested vaccine.

In 1977, there was an outbreak of the 1947 H1N1 virus in the Soviet Union, which spread worldwide. Because the older population was already exposed to the strain in 1947-1957, the epidemic primarily affected the population under 25. Since both haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) antigens were very similar to the 1947 strain, this lack of antigenic drift led to speculations that this strain of H1N1 virus escaped from a laboratory somewhere in the USSR.

The latest 2009-10 pandemic caused around 500,000 cases and 18,500 deaths, although it has been speculated that these numbers are significantly higher: CDC estimated around 284,000 (Roos,2012). For comparison, reported deaths from influenza worldwide are 200,000-500,000 annually. Unlike most influenza viruses, this strain of the H1N1 virus did not affect disproportionately people over 60 years old.

American BioDefense Institute Commends Congressman Gosar For BioSecurity Amendment

Amendment to Rules Committee Print for H.R. 6395 offered by Congressman Gosar of Arizona

On behalf of the American BioDefense Institute, we commend Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona on proposing an amendment to the H.R.6395 – William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. We submit this statement for the record to urge the Congress to include this amendment into the final bill to provide useful rapid pandemic response capabilities.

This amendment would add the Pandemic Prevention Platform to H.R.6395,obliging the Secretary of Defense to establish a program “to implement and advance thedevelopment of rapid and cost-effective medical countermeasures to pandemics.” The objective is to ensure that our nation has the capability to respond to any pandemic within 60 days of identifying a virus or other pathogen and make every effort to reduce this time frame to 28 days. This would provide unprecedented capabilities to contain and suppress anypandemic before it spreads.

This initiative addresses a bipartisan issue. The development of rapid pandemic response tools is a vital national security issue and a public health issue. CongressmanGosar has rightly recognized that pandemic prevention is a vital issue that has not been appropriately recognized until now. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic and its broader economic and social consequences, it is necessary to take action to prevent any future pandemic from having a similar effect.

One of the vital provisions of the amendment is the challenge to the American ingenuity to reduce the time frame of the rapid pandemic response from 60 days to 28 days. In the first 60 days of apandemic, every day is crucial, and being able to deploy pandemic countermeasures as early as possible is vital in saving lives. This amendment recognizes the importance of this and also recognizes that American companies and research institutions are capable of developing cutting-edge pandemic response tools with the U.S. government’s support.

The development ofrapid pandemic response tools holds the promise of effectively countering any future emerging infectious disease at its source. By preventing its spread worldwide and containing it and eradicating it if it reaches the U.S. These tools can be used both as a therapy for the infected patients and as a passive immunization method to prevent further infections and spread of the disease.

The American BioDefense Institute urges the Congress to accept this amendment to the H.R.6395 – William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. And ensure that the U.S. healthcare system is equipped to deal with any future pandemic effectively and that the American people are given the pandemic protection they deserve. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shown that this is a vital issue of both national security and public health, and a necessary measure to protect the U.S. economy and the American way of life.