Currently, there are four BSL labs on islands in the South Pacific including the "Defence Science Organization (DSO)” in Singapore, the “Preventive Medical Institute of ROC Ministry of National Defense” in Taiwan, China, the “Institute of Physical and Chemical Research” in Kantō, Tsukuba, Japan, and the “National Institute for Infectious Diseases” in Tokyo, Japan. Interestingly, the DSO in Singapore retains a BSL 4 mobile autopsy facility and has a stated goal to conduct autopsies during a deadly epidemic outbreak.
Date: January 13, 2010
Source: Bio Prep Watch
Abstract: Guam simulated a biological, chemical and radioactive attack this week as part of a 36 hour training exercise to test local and federal agencies’ preparedness in the face of a terrorist attack.
The event began when a joint FBI and Guam Police Department SWAT program raided a terrorist cell followed by the transportation by “terrorists” of chemical and biological weapons to locations spread around the island at 4 a.m..
The FBI, Coast Guard and Customs officials mobilized by 7 a.m. to intercept the cell at Cabras Island. The “terrorists” were found to be loading containers of gas and radioactive materials at that location.
Later on in the day, a plane that crashed at the airport leaked chemical gas. Those “terrorists” were tracked down, apprehended and interrogated.
The Guam Homeland Security and the Office of Civil Defense, in conjunction with Joint Task Force – Homeland Defense, the Guam National Guard’s 94th Civil Support Team, the Alaska National Guard’s 103rd Civil Support Team and multiple local and federal response agencies, carried out the exercise, which included approximately 100 emergency response personnel.
The simulated attack centered on the strategic importance of Guam, which is home to a large military personnel population. Guam is considered a first line of defense for the United States as well.
The goal for the simulation, which was a worst-case scenario for Guam, was to test the coordinated response among the nation’s different agencies and to identify gaps in communication and response time as well as the collective participation of multiple agencies.
“This is a perfect opportunity for us to realize our challenges and our weaknesses and correct them before something should ever happen in the real world,” Lesley Leon Guerrero, spokeswoman for Guam Homeland Security, told the Guam Pacific Daily News (Bio Prep Watch, 2010).Title: Trinidad And Tobago On Lookout For Bioterror Attack
Date: March 15, 2010
Source: Bio Prep Watch
Abstract: The permanent secretary of Trinidad and Tobago’s National Security Ministry has announced that there exists a real threat to the nation of an attack by terrorists using deadly toxins.
Speaking at a crisis management simulation exercise on bioterrorism held at the Hilton Trinidad in St. Ann’s, Jennifer Boucaud-Blake, the permanent secretary, made the announcement.
"There is much evidence to suggest that terrorists have a strong interest in the use of biological weapons," Boucaud-Blake said, the Trinidad & Tobago Express reported. "Many still question whether the threat exists or can occur, especially in our part of the world. Ladies and gentlemen, there is no question in my mind that the threat is real.
"’A single bioterrorist attack can cause hundreds, or even thousands of deaths. It can annihilate entire states such as our very own Caribbean islands. Should such an issue not be taken seriously? Moreover, even if the hundreds or thousands do not die, the fear, panic and subsequent social and economic disorder that could follow such an attack are additional reasons why we should take this threat seriously."
the announcement at the "Exercise Bio-Shield" seminar, organized by
the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Committee Against
Terrorism, which was held last week (Bio Prep Watch, 2010).
Title: Guam Guard To Hold Training Exercises This
Date: May 13, 2010
Source: Bio Prep Watch
Abstract: The Guam Army National Guard’s 95th Civil Support Team will be holding CBRN training exercises this week in what used to be the old Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Housing Authority in Dededo, Kuam News reports.
The public service announcement was made so as to not alarm residents in and around the area, officials told Kuam News.
The required training and evaluation, which will simulate a chemical attack and focus on preparation and responses for the possibility of such attacks, is held once about every 18 months, Guard Spokesman Captain Ken Ola told the paper.
The training exercises, Ola said, are an invaluable tool to test the technical skills of troops in the field.
"They’re the first responders for incidents like chemical and biological incidents where you may have a potential of mass impact on the population," Ola told Kuam News.
The training exercises are slated to continue through the rest of this week, according to Ola.
The Guam Army National Guard maintains two armories in two communities and is the most forward-positioned Joint Force Headquarters in the nation, according to GlobalSecurity.Org. The Guam Guard works jointly with the U.S. Naval Forces Marianas, the 13th Air Force, Andersen Air Force Base, the Armed Forces Committee, Guam Chamber of Commerce and the local chapter of the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve (Bio Prep Watch, 2010).
Title: Hawaii National Guard Trains To Fight CBRN
Date: December 23, 2010
Source: Bio Prep Watch
Abstract: The all-hazard response team of the Hawaii National Guard, known as the CERF, recently participated in a six day chemical, biological, nuclear and high-yield explosive training exercise and received validation from the Joint Interagency Training and Education Center.
The setup and training occurred between December 13 and December 18 and included members of the Air Force and Army. The team responded to a simulation of a dirty bomb detonation containing sarin gas that required a search, extraction, decontamination and medical treatment for the simulated victims, the U.S. Air Force reports.
"The exercise we're going through is evaluation of the team to be sure they meet standards set by the National Guard bureau as far as responding to the disaster and treating the casualties that come out of the disaster," Col. Stanley Sato, the 154th Medical Group commander, said, according to the U.S. Air Force. "The Guard's primary mission is homeland defense; typically, we've responded to earthquakes, floods (and) storm cleanup. We've never had any incidents with weapons of mass destruction in Hawaii like they did in the Oklahoma City bombing, but anything that might happen to the homeland, we would be there."
CERF was founded in 2004 and is evaluated every two years. Hawaii is thought to be a strategic location for the military due to its location in the Pacific. If called upon, CERF members could support Hawaii or another state or territory (Bio Prep Watch, 2010).
Title: Virgin Islands Conducts WMD Training
Date: February 10, 2011
Source: Bio Prep Watch
Abstract: The 23rd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team of the Virgin Islands National Guard recently conducted a training exercise in Frederiksted to be prepared to respond to hazard-related emergencies.
The training activity prepared the team to deal with any chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive inside the territory or within the southeast corridor of the United States, including Georgia, North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Alabama, according to the Virgin Islands Daily News.
The U.S. Army North evaluated the National Guard unit during the training simulation, which began at 4:30 a.m. and lasted throughout the day. Nineteen out of 22 team members participated in the drill in which they needed to identify, assess and give an analysis of the substance they collected.
The scenario included the delivery of a pallet of packages that had an elevated radiological reading on a ship at a pier.
"The culmination of years of training ensures that we meet the marks set forth from other CSTs across the nation,” Maj. Kenneth Alleyne, the 23rd’s unit commander, said, according to the Virgin Islands Daily News. "It is the same standard across the board and we're just as good as every state and territory."
While the team knew it would be participating in the activity, they did not know where it would be located or what the scenario would be.
“All CSTs are
top-notch and the V.I.’s are no different,” Lt. Col. Bruce Alzner, of the Army
North Civil Support Team Readiness Group, said, the Virgin Islands Daily News
reports (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).
Title: Taiwan Simulates Biological, Nuclear
Date: June 30, 2011
Source: Bio Prep Watch
Abstract: Taiwan recently held a major anti-terrorism exercise simulating potential nuclear and biological attacks.
Over 1,200 personnel from several law enforcement agencies and military units took part in the drills, which lasted over two hours and tested the authorities’ command and communications capabilities and response to unconventional warfare, according to NDTV.com.
“The main aim of this drill is to test the capabilities of every administrative unit to respond to a terrorist attack,” President Ma Ying-jeou said, TaiwanToday.com reports. “Although Taiwan has not been a target of terrorism, every unit must map out response plans and practice implementing them in simulated drills so as to discourage terrorists from ever attempting to attack Taiwan and to ensure they do not succeed if they do try."
During the scenario, terrorists placed a dirty bomb on an oil tanker anchored in the harbor, which they then ignited. Also during the attack, enemy forces took control of a bus and demanded the release of a captured terrorist leader held by Taiwanese forces.
After receiving reports of the
hostage situation and the potential bomb threat, units from the Coast Guard,
National Police Agency and Military Police were dispatched and took control of
the situation. They
successfully rescued the hostages and cleaned up the explosion site, according
to ChinaPost.com (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).
Title: Marines Drill In Japan On CBRN Preparedness
Date: July 1, 2011
Source: Bio Prep Watch
Abstract: Marines with the 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, took part in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear training on June 25 at the East Fuji Maneuver Area in Japan.
The training familiarized the battalion with how to conduct live-fire artillery operations while dealing with a CBRN threat.
Battalion commander Lt. Col. Ricardo Miagany described the training as a priority because it incorporated lessons the marines learned during Operation Tomodachi, the U.S. disaster-relief effort following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
“We were able to support the Japanese people in their time of crisis during Operation Tomodachi,” Christoper I. Kamm, the chief warrant officer and a battalion CBRN officer, said. “Now we are fully capitalizing on the CBRN lessons learned, regarding radiation survey, monitoring and overall contamination awareness. Operation Tomodachi was the first time it was done for real—it wasn’t just a theoretical training evolution.”
The scenario, created by 2nd Lt. David A. Serrano, the battalion's intelligence officer, tested the ability of marines to conduct combat operations in a contaminated environment. The training also incorporated the opportunity to cooperate with Japanese allies.
“It gives the Marines the opportunity to train in the environment in which they could potentially fight, should any threat arise,” Serrano said. “It reinforces our alliance with Japan. The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force assists us when we train in their homeland, and, when they see that we are constantly prepared to be that ‘911 force,’ it reminds them that we are still here to help them protect their country."
Serrano and Kamm both called the training a success.
“I think the Marines got good training out of it,” Serrano said. “The commanders got to be on the other side of a moving, thinking enemy, and they made the right decisions” (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).
Title: Ireland Forces To Train Against Biothreats
Date: August 8, 2011
Source: Bio Prep Watch
Abstract: A major British electronics company will help train defense forces in Ireland to deal with industrial or terrorist industries involving chemical and biological agents.
Argon Electronics of Luton, England, won the contract to supply a virtual chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear system to train operatives to deal with hazardous situations, according to the Independent. This year alone, army bomb disposal teams have been called out 14 times to deal with hazardous chemical substances in Ireland.
On Friday, a highly unstable and dangerous chemical was discovered in a science lab at Ashbourne Community School in Co Meath. The chemical, 2.4 dinitrophenylhydrazine, is potentially explosive and could have blown out the doors and windows of the lab.
The chemical was discovered during a routine audit of chemicals at the school. Army experts removed the chemical to a nearby waste ground and later carried out a controlled explosion.
The Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams have also been trained to deal with nuclear or biological materials. The British firm was involved in a major U.K. simulation earlier in the year when emergency services needed to deal with the aftermath of a terrorism attack where a radioactive material was released after a plane hijack.
Similar exercises have been held
in Ireland, including Operation Contained Freedom in February in Dublin Port.
That scenario involved Army experts, gardai and firemen and dealt with a mock
"dirty bomb" – a terrorist weapon that uses conventional explosives
to disperse deadly germs or radioactive material (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).
Title: Guam Mounts Bio-Terror Attack
Date: November 15, 2011
Source: Government Security News
Abstract: The western Pacific island of Guam began a three-day drill on Nov. 15 to test its response to a bio-terror attack.
Guam Homeland Security and the Office of Civil Defense (GHS/OCD) said it and the island nation’s Department of Public Health and Social Services is coordinating with other Guam government agencies to conduct a Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) Full Scale Exercise (FSE) it calls Operation Pa'ti.
Located east of the Philippines and China and south of Japan, Guam is an unincorporated U.S. territory and its residents are U.S. citizens. There are also several U.S. Navy and Air Force bases on the island. The strategic national stockpile, run jointly by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Homeland Security, is the U.S. national repository of antibiotics, vaccines, chemical antidotes, antitoxins and other critical medical equipment and supplies. The supplies are set aside in case of a bioterror attack or national pandemic. The stockpile can supplement and re-supply local health authorities in dire situations.
The FSE, said a statement by GHS, was preceded by a tabletop exercise and is set to run Nov. 15-18. The exercise is a simulation designed to test the government of Guam's public health response capabilities to an anthrax biological terrorist attack with emphasis on coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and support from the local government's emergency management system.GHS warned the island’s population that there may be emergency response vehicles on the roadways and at various government facilities during the exercise. The villages that may be affected include Yigo, Dededo, Upper Tumon, Tamuning and Mangilao, said the agency (Government Security News, 2011).
Title: Guam Simulates Bioattack
Date: November 16, 2011
Source: Bio Prep Watch
Abstract: Guam Homeland Security, the Department of Public
Health and Social Services, the Office of Civil Defense and other government
agencies in Guam have begun a strategic national stockpile full scale exercise
known as Operation Pa’ti.
Operation Pa'ti simulates a biological terrorist attack. Specifically, the agencies involved in the exercise simulate what to do if terrorists spread anthrax on the island of Guam. The exercise is designed to test the public health capabilities of GovGuam, Pacific News Center reports.
They agencies have even practiced calling the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
"In the event that we do get attacked we need to practice and prepare for that and basically what it is there's real particular steps on how to prepare when to trigger requests to the federal government for emergency assets,” Patrick Lujan, a representative of the Department of Public Health, said, according to Pacific News Center.
Residents of Mangilao, Tamuning, Upper Tumon, Dededo and Yigo
have been advised of emergency response vehicles on the roadways and at various GovGuam facilities during the exercise.
The exercise includes a tabletop exercise testing GovGuam's response capabilities to the simulated attack, according to Alyssa Benito, a Homeland Security spokesperson. Operation Pa'ti began Tuesday and will take place over the course of four days, KUAM reports (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).
Title: Virgin Islands Simulates Anthrax Attack Response
Date: March 19, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch
Abstract: A team of police in the Virgin Islands ran a counterterrorism drill on Friday to pursue four fake suspects and contain fake anthrax that they released at the former J. Antonio Jarvis school building.
The team of officers took part in the drill during the midday heat on Friday, attempting to track both the simulated suspects and a detectable but harmless anthrax substitute, Virgin Islands Daily News reports.
The Virgin Islands was also in Department of Homeland Security news this week for the closure of a large refinery that might affect United States infrastructure, the dependence on foreign imports and the vulnerability to terrorism. During a subcommittee hearing, the DHS plans to discuss the refinery closings and the consequences on pipelines to national security, the Examiner reports.
“More than 30 U.S.
refineries have closed in the last decade,” Representative Patrick Meehan
(R-Pa.), said, according to the Examiner. “Most recently, two Philadelphia area
refineries have closed and one is scheduled to close. Together they account for
50 percent of the Northeast’s capacity. Another large refinery in the Virgin
Islands has closed. This hearing will help us understand the homeland security
consequences of refinery closures, both in terms of threats to critical
infrastructure and our dependence on imports from unstable parts of the world.
The pipelines, could be vulnerable to disruption from a terrorist attack or
natural disaster” (Bio
Prep Watch, 2012).
Title: Kuala Lumpur Bioweapons Legislation Moves
Date: April 26, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch
Abstract: Malaysian officials recently announced that they will be prepared to submit a major bill regulating potential bioweapons research to the Attorney General’s Chambers by the end of the year.
The legislation, which has already been written, is due to be presented to the Malaysian Defense Ministry for review next week, according to TheSunDaily.my.
“We will be going into the details (of the bill) and seek opinions from the related agencies and parties. It has been drafted, now it’s the feedback stage,” Defense Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said, TheSunDaily.my reports.
Ahmad Zahid said that the legislation would be forwarded to the attorney general after the next general election and hopefully before next year.
The defense minister did not comment further on the contents of the bill, but it is believed to contain regulations that will give the government the right to inspect, license and audit research facilities and university laboratories that develop biochemical materials that could be used to produce weapons agents.
Director-General Datuk Dr Abdul Ghaffar Ramli of the defense ministry’s Science and Technology Institute for Defense previously said that the bill was written to ensure no one in Malaysia would be able to make or keep biochemical materials in the country.“There is a world concern about the proliferation of biological weapons. This is seen as a poor-man’s weapon of mass destruction as the equipment to create these weapons are becoming cheaper and smaller,” Ghaffar said, TheSunDaily.my reports. “So we have to create a law here to say that nobody is allowed to assist or create such biological materials for the use of warfare or mass destruction” (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).
Title: Fiji: Leptospirosis Outbreak Claims Seven Lives Post-Floods
Date: April 29, 2012
Abstract: Some of the effects from the massive flooding that struck the Pacific island nation in January are still making itself known.
The Fiji Ministry of Health advised the public Friday, anyone experiencing the symptoms of leptospirosis need to seek medical attention immediately. This comes after reports of seven confirmed fatalities from the bacterial disease.
In addition, there are 13 other deaths, although not confirmed, that is suspected to be due to the pathogenic organism.
National adviser communicable diseases Dr. Mike Kama said, 279 people have contracted leptospirosis since the January floods and 85 per cent of these are from the Western Division.
Other post-flood diseases being watched by government health officials include typhoid and dengue fever.
Increases in leptospirosis frequently follow heavy rainfalls and typhoons when flooding of fresh water occurs and rats search for higher ground.
Leptospirosis is a spirochetal bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Leptospira interrogans. Exposure to fresh water and wet soil contaminated by the urine of an infected animal, rats are most common, is where humans typically pick up the infection.
It is commonly considered an occupational disease for those who work outdoors or with animals. Recreational activities, which involve exposure to fresh water contaminated with infected animal urine, are also a risk for leptospirosis (Examiner, 2012).
Title: Japan Orders NBC Detection Systems From
Date: May 4, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch
Abstract: The Japan Ministry of Defense has ordered 19 AbleSentry systems from the Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin to provide early warning and detection of potential nuclear, biological or chemical attacks.
The AbleSentry is a system designed for tactical battlefields that can be simply deployed, operated and maintained. It uses a detection algorithm and a network of remote sensors to detect threats and minimize the possibility of false alarms. The networking of the sensors prevents the possibility of a system-wide alarm being caused by one sensor.
“The system’s ability to provide information on where the threat is coming from and how fast it’s moving gives battlefield commanders the advanced warning they need to make the decisions necessary to keep their troops out of harm’s way,” Daniel Heller, the vice president of new ventures for Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems & Sensors business, said.
The AbleSentry system is the next evolutionary step after the company’s Biological Aerosol Warning System and its Enhanced Biological Aerosol Warning System platforms. The new system adds radiological and chemical detection capabilities. Lockheed Martin has delivered 24 BAWS and EBAWS systems to Japan’s Ground Self Defense Forces since 2005.
The AbleSentry also monitors temperature, wind direction and speed, humidity and location data, and collects air samples for the identification and confirmation of biological agents.Japan will use the devices for counter-terrorism efforts (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).
Title: Turks And Caicos Islands Report More Than 50 Cases Of HFMD
Date: May 7, 2012
Abstract: The Caribbean islands are experiencing an outbreak of the childhood viral disease, hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) according to the Ministry of Health and Education (MOHE).
The MOHE reported Monday that there are now 53 cases on the islands including the first cases to be seen on Grand Turk. The vast majority of cases, approximately 92 percent, reside in the most populous city, Providenciales.
All of the cases reported have been in children under the age of eight.
HFMD is typically a benign and self-limiting disease. Most common in young children, it presents as fever, oral lesions and rash on the hands, feet and buttocks. The oral lesions consist of rapidly-ulcerating vesicles on the buccal mucosa, tongue, palate and gums. The rash consists ofpapulovesicular lesions on the palms, fingers and soles, which generally persist for seven to 10 days, and maculopapular lesions on the buttocks.
MOHE health officials have not reported what strain of the virus is circulating on the islands.The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) are a British Overseas Territory consisting of two groups of tropical islands in the West Indies, the larger Caicos Islands and the smaller Turks Islands (Examiner, 2012)
Title: Solomon Islands Rubella Outbreak Prompts Travel Alert For Upcoming
Date: May 9, 2012
Abstract: Health officials on the Solomon Islands have reported an outbreak of German measles, or rubella, which has prompted a call for vaccination as a Pacific Arts Festival approaches.
There have been six confirmed cases of the viral disease reported in the past two days. A warning was initially issued as the first case was reported Tuesday, May 8. Five additional cases were reported on Wednesday.
All the confirmed cases have been reported on children ages 6 to 15 from capital city of Honiara.
According to a Solomon Times report, Under Secretary Health Improvement Dr. Cedric Alependava said that rubella is dangerous for pregnant women. He said infection with rubella could result in birth defects and even death for a pregnant woman's unborn child.
Alependava is urging foreigners planning to attend the Festival this summer to ensure they are vaccinated against rubella or get vaccinated.
Rubella is highly contagious and spread through respiratory droplets. They can be passed through coughing, sneezing, or even talking in close proximity.
Rubella or German measles is a mild, febrile viral disease characterized by a rash and fever. The rash is clinically indistinguishable from those produced by measles, parvovirus B19 and scarlet fever. This highly communicable disease is contagious from about 1 week before and four days after onset of the rash.
Rubella is important because of its ability to cause problems with the developing fetus. Congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) can cause miscarriage; and developmental delay, deafness or cataracts and other birth defects in the newborn (Examiner, 2012).
Title: Nearly Everyone Is Infected With Schistosomiasis In One Philippine
Date: June 11, 2012
Abstract: In one town in Eastern Samar in the Visayan Islands of the Philippines, a parasitic worm is so prevalent that the mayor said, “It is only the babies who are still carried by their parents and have not yet walk on the ground who are not affected by the disease”.
According to a Sun Star report Monday, Mayor Emiliana Villacarillo said nearly all of the 543 residents of Barangay San Pascual of themunicipality of Dolores in Eastern Samar are infected with schistosomiasis.
The problem is so bad that Villacarillo is seeking help in dealing with this parasitic plague in the inner barangay (village).
Schistosomiasis is an acute or chronic disease, produced by parasites called Schistosoma. It is not a single disease, but a disease complex initiated by several different species of schistosomes, or blood flukes. The three most important species seen in humans are Schistosoma mansoni, S. haematobium and S. japonicum.
It is so serious and prevalent that it is 2nd only to malaria in terms of socioeconomic & public health importance, with 200 million people infected in approximately 75 countries.
The blood fluke seen in the Philippines, China and parts of Indonesia
is Schistosoma japonicum.
The parasite is often associated with poverty, lack of potable water, inadequate hygiene and few if any sanitary facilities. Although it is often seen as a rural disease, more semi-urban transmission is seen where sanitation is less than optimal.
The schistosomes are found in fresh water. This water gets contaminated, for example, by infected people working in the rice field, fisherman in the lake or children playing who indiscriminately defecate or urinate in the water.
Schistosomes have a very complicated life cycle. The eggs in the feces or urine (in the case of S. haemotobium) hatch and the ciliated miracia swim to the specific snail species where it penetrates and goes through a couple of stages in the snail. After a period, thousands of the infective stage, known as cercariae are released and swim around looking for a human to infect.
The free-swimming cercariae are capable of penetrating the unbroken skin
of the human host.
In the case of S. japonicum, the adult schistosomes eventually end up in the blood vessels of the intestines. Here they produce eggs that are the cause of the disease. The S. japonicum adult female can deposit up to 3,500 eggs per day.
The problems with schistosomiasis from S. japonicum are many and can include; Katayama fever, hepatic perisinusoidal egg granulomas, Symmers’ pipe stem periportal fibrosis, and portal hypertension, and occasional embolic egg granulomas in brain. People, especially children are characterized with a large distended abdomen due to enlarged liver and spleen.
The drug of choice is praziquantel for infections caused by all Schistosoma species (Examiner, 2012).
Title: Cuba Working On BTWC Implemantation
Date: July 20, 2012
Abstract: A Cuban representative spoke on the country’s successful implementation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention during a meeting in Geneva.
Juan Antonio Quintanilla explained the actions his country has taken to comply with the BTWC’s objective to prevent the proliferation and development of biological weapons. Cuba has implemented approximately 44 safeguard inspections with different objectives between 2007 and 2011 at its facilities with a biological risk, Prensa Latina reports.
Cuba has also utilized a training plan developed by the National Center for Biological Security to more successfully apply the BTWC. Quintanilla said that the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment has acted as a national authority of the Biological Weapons Convention in the training and implementation process.
The island has participated in the BTWC since 1992 and has taken part in the exchange of information through annually presenting forms to promote confidence, according to Prensa Latina.Signers of the BTWC promise not to develop toxin or biological agents that have no justification for protection, prophylactic or other peaceful purposes. The BTWC prohibits the production, development or storage of biological weapons. The BTWC also allows for the exchange of equipment, scientific and technological information, and materials. The convention has been ratified by 163 states since it came into force in 1975 (BioPrepWatch, 2012).
Title: Leptospirosis Alert In Barbados
Date: August 16, 2012
Abstract: Barbados health authorities decreed a state of alert this today due to an increase in leptospirosis cases detected in the country since last month.
According to a report by the Ministry of Health, five people contracted this bacterial infection in July, bringing the number of patients to 18 this year.
The text warned of the possibility the disease may be spreading not only through rodents, but also other animals such as pigs, horses, cows and dogs.
The disease, which includes flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, chills, nausea and vomiting, eye inflammation and muscle pain, can be contracted by contact with water, moist soil or vegetation contaminated with urine of infected animals.
The bacteria can also enter the body through skin sores.
The ministry urged people to use protective clothing, mainly gloves and boots for work outdoors such as gardening and construction, which may cause involuntary exposure to contaminated water (Plenglish.com, 2012).
Title: Haiti Cholera Outbreak Going On 2 Years, Over 500,000 Cases Reported To
Date: September 7, 2012
Source: Global Dispatch
Abstract: The cholera outbreak which began in October 2010, is still ongoing on the Caribbean island of Haiti, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still advises travelers to the country to take preventive measures against the gastrointestinal disease.
According to the Ministere de la Sante Publique et de la Population (MSPP), as of July 22, 2012, 581,952 cases and 7,455 deaths have been reported since the cholera epidemic began in Haiti. Cases have been officially reported in all 10 departments of Haiti. Since spring, cases have increased significantly in the Centre and Nord departments and in Port-au-Prince, the country’s capital In Port-au-Prince, 158,575 cases have been reported since the beginning of the outbreak. Cases in Port-au-Prince have been reported from the following neighborhoods: Carrefour, Cite Soleil, Delmas, Kenscoff, Petion Ville, and Tabarre (Global Dispatch, 2012).