The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), the set of regulations that limit U.S. exports in the name of national security, need to be rescinded with new enabling legislation because they continue to be a threat to the United States (U.S.) national security and economic interests despite a well-intended Executive reform initiative that has taken place over the last seven years.

coverPIPSITAR

In this breakthrough book, General Al Gray and Dr. Paul Otte provide a new model for achieving a higher level of leadership. This book validates the struggles of the Conflicted Leader – one who must lead individuals and organizations as our world moves through ever-evolving waves of change. But, the authors do more than address what many leaders today are experiencing. They propose a new way of making a difference though Vantage Leadership, defined as the ability to embrace uncertainty, see the possible over the probable, remain conceptual through conflict, and more.

“If you only look for leadership in the usual places, you will only find the usual leadership.”

A new report published in March by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Organization of American States (OAS) called on countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) to step up their efforts on cybersecurity or face “potentially devastating” cyber attacks. Members of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies’ Cyber Readiness Index team collaborated with IDB, OAS, and other academic and policy institutions to analyze the cyber preparedness of 32 OAS countries based on 42 indicators. It is the first significant examination of the level of preparedness against growing cyber threats in Latin America and the Caribbean based on two unique frameworks. 2016 Cyber Security Report

 

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Alternative Futures for Corrosion and Degradation Research

By Dr. Robert Hummel

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is pleased to present Alternative Futures for Corrosion and Degradation Research. This book, authored by study lead Dr. Robert Hummel, Chief Scientist of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, arose out of a study conducted for the Office of Corrosion Policy and Oversight (CPO) of the Office of the Secretary of Defense on research directions for alternative futures for corrosion and degradation.

Alternative Futures for Corrosion and Degradation Research offers a road map for novel research directions that could lead to dramatic changes in how the nation views and deals with corrosion and degradation problems.  Corrosion is a national problem that goes beyond the rusting of metal. The issues associated with corrosion and degradation are responsible for more than one trillion dollars in annual national expenditures.

Click to Purchase

A Life at Full Speed: A Journal of Struggle and Discovery

by Charles M. Herzfeld

Among computer science aficionados, Dr. Charles Herzfeld is affectionately known as the “Godfather of the Internet.” As Director of ARPA, the 1960s forerunner of DARPA (today’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), he was the force behind the development of the ARPANET, which ultimately became the Internet we know today. But what many do not know is the backstory behind this phenomenal achievement. The heady political, cultural and scientific milieu of that time was his element, and he emerged as a true high-tech legend. His numerous awards and honors include induction into the Internet Hall of Fame in 2012, with the title of “Pioneer.” Charles Herzfeld’s life story is an iconic American tale. Here, in his own words, is that story.

Click to Purchase

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Al Gray, Marine: The Early Years, 1950-1967 Vol.1

$29.95

Author: Scott Laidig;

Foreword by General Anthony Zinni, USMC (Ret);

Preface by Dr. John F. Guilmartin, Lt Col, USAF (Ret);

ISBN:978-0-9852483-0-7

In this first volume of the authorized Al Gray, Marine biography series, author, Scott Laidig gives a detailed account of Al Gray as a young sergeant in the Amphibious Reconnaissance Platoon through his tours with the artillery, the infantry, special operations, and intelligence units through 1967. This work is well-researched and referenced – rich with personal and historical details, images, anecdotes and colorful episodes that bring this remarkable Marine’s experiences to life on the page. Hardbound and Kindle editions are available through Amazon and through our distributor, Baker & Taylor.

Click to Purchase

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U.S. Health Policy: An Insider's Perspective

By Dr. Tevi Troy

Hon. Tevi Troy, PhD, Senior Fellow’s book comes at the right time. U.S. Health Policy: An Insider’s Perspective thoughtfully assembles articles that Dr. Troy has written in publications ranging from The New Atlantis to The Wall Street Journal. He cohesively covers a number of subjects including Obamacare implementation, the government’s ability to impose its electronic medical records plan, biopreparedness, life science innovation, and Medicaid and Medicare.

Dr. Troy has travelled the world, representing both the Department of Heath and Human Services and the U.S. government as an ambassador for U.S. health care policy. In doing so, he was able to develop a better understanding of how to convey messages to a wide variety of people, “You can have the best policies in the world but they will not do any good if no one knows about them.”

USHealthPolicy

Grayisms

and other thoughts on leadership From General Al Gray, USMC (Retired) 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps 

Grayisms are the embodiment of simplicity and capture recurring statements made by the General during his 41 year career in the Marine Corps and in subsequent years. General Gray’s love of his Marines along with the Sailors who serve with them and how much they love and respect him in return, shines through Grayisms. He has great admiration for all our Armed Forces. Often one to shun head tables and staff cars for mess halls and jeeps, General Gray is a true leader to the Marines serving, not under, but beside him. He has never missed an opportunity to talk with the troops and is always eager to hear about what is happening on and off the field.  The Grayism exemplified in this philosophy is, “Leaders must truly care more about the people they lead than themselves.” Even as a Commandant, he has never lost his “enlisted” mentality when it comes to caring for his Marines.

grayisms

The Cyber Readiness Index (CRI) 2.0 team developed a ground-breaking methodology, known as the CRI 2.0, to evaluate and measure a country’s preparedness levels for certain cybersecurity risks. The team of experts apply the CRI 2.0 to provide a compelling and actionable review of a country’s policies, plans, laws, standards, market levers (e.g., incentives and regulations), and other initiatives. The resulting actionable blueprint enables a country to better understand its Internet-infrastructure dependencies and vulnerabilities and assess its commitment and maturity to closing the gap between its current cyber security posture and the national cyber capabilities needed to support its digital future.

 

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THINK BIG argues that innovation in science and technology are the keys to American economic strength and national security. Rather than a return to the infrastructure, economy, and healthcare systems of the past, the report calls for a vision for the future.

The report urges the new Administration to 1) develop policy based on the best available science and 2) use policy to foster the development of science and technology. The science and technology investment priorities identified in the THINK BIG report for the next Administration include:

· America’s Future Infrastructure
· Fostering American Industry Leadership
· Revolutionizing Medicine
· Climate Engineering

Download the full PDF here.

 

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The Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense released its report, A National Blueprint for Biodefense: Leadership and Major Reform Needed to Optimize Efforts, in October 2015. The report identifies capability gaps and recommends changes to U.S. policy and law to strengthen national biodefense while optimizing resource investments. The panel is co-chaired by former Sen. Joe Lieberman and former Gov. Tom Ridge, who are joined by former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, former Sen. Tom Daschle, former Rep. Jim Greenwood, and the Hon. Kenneth Wainstein.

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Wrong Page!  You want www.potomacinstitute.org

 

 

The video from the June 17th panel discussion on cyber scenarios is available here.

The Challenge

In the 21st century, technology is becoming increasingly pervasive. Communications, medicine, biotechnology, synthetics, robotics, composite materials, pharmaceuticals, energy sources, and transportation are just a few of the fields that technology is changing. These changes will have an enormous impact on our lives.
 
New cutting-edge technologies present challenges to our society. Reliable and familiar processes are often replaced by more complex systems, procedures, techniques, and equipment that have the potential to cause repercussions on a scale much larger than the technology itself. New markets open daily and established markets change or die. Workers are often displaced. Employees with different skills are needed.
 
Understanding the proper roles of industry, and local, state, and federal governments in relationship to these changes is a primary objective of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.


Our Mission

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit public policy research institute. The Institute identifies and aggressively shepherds discussion on key science, technology, and national security issues facing our society, providing in particular, an academic forum for the study of related policy issues. From these discussions and forums, we develop meaningful policy options and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government. The Institute’s current endeavors have required the formation of special efforts in:

  • Science and technology policy;
  • National security;
  • S&T forecasting;
  • Operational research;
  • Terrorism and asymmetry;
  • Emerging threats and opportunities;
  • Cybersecurity; and
  • Neurotechnology and ethics. 

Our Philosophy

The worthy and difficult functions stated in our mission can be met only through a consistent and continuing regard for two basic principles. First, we fiercely maintain objectivity and credibility, remaining independent of any federal or state agency, and owing no special allegiance to any single political party or private concern. This dedication to fierce objectivity is evident in our motto, Integrum Se Servare. We make every attempt to ensure that our work is conducted in an unbiased manner, regardless of the opinions of sponsors, or even self-interest. This often enables fruitful inquiries into issues that might otherwise be difficult to assess.
 
Second, we seek extensive collaboration with similar organizations, as well as with industry, academia, and government, and we work closely with Congress and the Executive Branch. We believe that the study of today’s complex issues demands a wide variety of contributions from various perspectives, each of which add to the needed holistic understanding. But, even if the Institute possessed that understanding, a collaborative approach would be necessary. This is because, by their nature, solutions and strategies to solve significant problems at the national and international level are disruptive, tend to consume large resources, and challenge existing organizational structure and established jurisdiction. All of this results in difficulty in implementing recommendations, which otherwise profit from achieved consensus. For these reasons, Institute work typically involves experts in a variety of disciplines and includes leaders from business, government, and academia to create an environment that promotes exchange of information and analytical development.

For general information about the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, please contact us at:

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
901 N. Stuart Street, Suite 200
Arlington, VA 22203
Telephone: 703.525.0770
Fax: 703.525.0299
email comments or questions to webmaster[at]potomacinstitute[dot]org

Center For Neurotechnology Studies (CNS)

The Center for Neurotechnology Studies (CNS) is directed by Dr. Jennifer Buss. CNS provides neutral, in-depth analysis of matters at the intersection of neuroscience and technology—neurotechnology—and public policy. The Center anticipates ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) associated with emerging neurotechnology, and shepherds constructive discourse on these issues. It provides a forum for reasoned consideration of issues both by subject area experts and by the public. The Center partners with the research community for discourse and consultation on ethically sound neurotechnology research and applications. The Center cultivates and stewards knowledge and discussion on the implications of neurotechnology in academic, administrative, entrepreneurial, regulatory, legislative and judicial enterprises. CNS serves as authoritative counsel to government agencies pursuing neurotechnology by providing expertise in the sciences, ethics, law and social policy.

 

International Center For Terrorism Studies (ICTS)

Terrorism has been a permanent fixture in human history. It is evident that the beginning of the twenty-first century marks the beginning of a new age of terrorism. In contrast with older precedents, modern-day terrorism is widespread, institutionalized, technologically advanced,and global in its consequences. Raising the stakes of this challenge is the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This alarming and dangerous trend increases the potential for "superterrorism"- biological, chemical, or nuclear violence - as well as the advent of information warfare and cyber-terrorism. As a member of the academic and research community, the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies has an intellectual obligation, as well as a moral and practical responsibility, to participate in the international effort to arrest the virus of terrorism. Accordingly, in 1998 the Institute established the International Center for Terrorism Studies to address the extensive issues surrounding the ever increasing anxiety of modern-day terrorism.

The International Center for Terrorism Studies (ICTS) is directed by Professor Yonah Alexander. Professor Alexander publishes numerous op-eds and articles and makes frequent appearances in international media.

Cyber Readiness Index

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies developed a ground-breaking methodology, known as the Cyber Readiness Index (CRI 2.0), to evaluate and measure a country’s preparedness levels for certain cybersecurity risks. The team of cyber readiness 2.0 experts apply the CRI 2.0 to provide a compelling and actionable review of a country’s policies, plans, laws, standards, market levers (e.g., incentives and regulations), and other initiatives. The resulting actionable blueprint enables a country to better understand its Internet-infrastructure dependencies and vulnerabilities and assess its commitment and maturity to closing the gap between its current cyber security posture and the national cyber capabilities needed to support its digital future.

The CRI 2.0 uses over seventy unique indicators across seven essential elements to discern operationally ready activities and identify areas for improvement in the following elements: national strategy, incident response, e-crime and law enforcement, information sharing, investment in R&D, diplomacy and trade, and defense and crisis response. Each of these essential elements, if pursued in tandem, can help a country develop a stronger security posture to defend against economic erosion from cyber insecurity. Each area of inquiry is assessed across three cyber readiness levels: fully operational, partially operational, or insufficient evidence. The results are averaged to create an overall readiness assessment per country.

The threat to each country’s networked systems and infrastructures is real and growing. Data breaches, criminal activity, service disruptions, and property destruction are becoming commonplace. The resources available to increase the resilience of a country’s infrastructure and decrease the exposure of the countries to damage, however, are finite. The CRI 2.0 offers a comprehensive, comparative, experience-based methodology to help national leaders chart a path toward a safer, more resilient digital future in a deeply cybered, competitive, and conflict- prone world.

The CRI 2.0 is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish and is being applied to 125 countries. While no country is cyber ready, there are countries that have developed effective mechanisms to achieve cyber readiness/preparedness and these programs and initiatives provide examples for other countries to learn from and possibly follow. As countries connect the next one to two billion people to the Internet and embrace next generation technologies, including the Internet of Things (IoT), the CRI 2.0 is a tool that can help identify and manage cybersecurity risks. The CRI 2.0 demonstrates how national security is closely intertwined with Internet connectivity and rapid adoption of ICT, which when secure, can lead to economic growth and prosperity.

Center For Revolutionary Scientific Thought (CReST)

The Center develops new ideas about the future directions of science and technology, formulates strategies on how to achieve revolutionary gains in that field, provides a forum to discuss the associated political, ethical, legal, and social issues, and informs the public and policymakers to solve vital societal problems."

Center for Adaptation and Innovation (CAI)

The Center for Adaptation and Innovation (CAI) identifies and defines new and potentially disruptive defense capabilities. CAI assists senior defense leaders grappling with the most demanding issues and problems posed by a complex and uncertain security environment.

 

Regulatory Science and Engineering Center (RSEC)

The vision of the Regulatory Science and Engineering Center (RSEC) at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is to always be the definitive source of information on developing and implementing regulatory policy based on science and technology. In order to achieve this primary objective, the mission of RSEC is to ensure its activities successfully achieve the following:

Build and maintain a comprehensive library of knowledge regarding the science behind making regulatory policy and the history that created the foundations of our current regulatory practices.
Create projects and opportunities that furthers the understanding (and application) of regulatory science and engineering.
Serve as a resource center for all individuals or organizations that attempt to practice regulatory science by establishing (and evolving) various tools and processes that can assist in the practice of using science and technology in developing regulatory policies (i.e. doing regulatory science).
Taken together, the basic mission of RSEC is to inform the field of regulatory science by communicating regulatory science and engineering to the public, and provide advice to government agencies, academia and industry about applying regulatory science and engineering practices to their development and implementation of regulatory policy.

 

Prof. James Giordano, PhD, is Vice President for Academic Programs and Director of the Center for Neurotechnology Studies at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.  Prof. Giordano, a neuroscientist and neuroethicist, will be a featured speaker at the upcoming New York University Center for Bioethics 2012 Conference on "The Moral Brain." The event will be held from March 30-April 1 at NYU, and is free and open to the public. The program is jointly sponsored by the NYU Center for Bioethics, Duke Kenan Institute for Ethics, Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. Prof. Giordano will participate in a discussion entitled, "Can Moral Behavior Be Improved or Enhanced?" Click here for details.

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies' Center for Neurotechnology Studies was pleased to welcome guests to the CNS booth at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, Neuroscience 2011,  in Washington, DC.  The annual SfN meeting attracts tens of thousands of professionals in neuroscience, medicine, and affiliated fields, and this year's event was no exception.    Click below to watch the video being shown in this year's CNS booth, in which CNS Director and Vice President for Academic Programs at the Potomac Institute, Prof. James Giordano, PhD, talks about the mission of CNS and the significance of the annual SfN meeting.

Prof. James Giordano, PhD, is Vice President for Academic Programs and Director of the Center for Neurotechnology Studies at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.  In a Letter to the Editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education, he writes about the limits of neurotechnology's applications in the prediction and prevention of violent or antisocial behavior.  Prof. Giordano writes that there is a public outcry for "science and technology to 'do something' to define, predict, and prevent violent social behavior."  But he warns that not only is the technology not fully up to the task, but the risks that it will be hijacked for political purposes remains high.  Click here to read the letter in full.

Prof. James Giordano, PhD, Vice President for Academic Programs and Director of the Center for Neurotechnology Studies at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, will give a series of lectures on neuroethics at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, Munich, Germany, during his tenure as 2011-2012 Fulbright Visiting Professor of Neurosciences and Neuroethics.  The five lectures will take place from November 2011 through February of 2012.  Please see the attachment, below, for details. Click here for more information on the Fulbright Scholar Program.

Prof. James Giordano, PhD, is Vice President for Academic Programs and Director of the Center for Neurotechnology Studies at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.  On October 20, he spoke at a conference entitled “Smart” Implants: Therapeutic Solutions, Security and Human Enhancements, sponsored by ICTethics and Gleube and held at the Wellcome Collection Conference Centre in London, UK.  Prof. Giordano addressed ways in which implantable neurotechnologies "offer unique potential to affect neuro-cognitive and behavioral functions, and are therefore promising approaches in mitigating the effects of certain neurological and psychiatric disorders."  He also addressed ethical considerations that arise in connection with the use of these technologies.  Click here for more information about the conference.

Prof. James Giordano, Vice President for Academic Programs and Director of the Center for Neurotechnology Studies at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, will be a guest speaker at the International Neuroethics Society's annual meeting in November, 2011.  The event will be held in Washington, DC on November 10 and 11.  Topics include include Neuroscience, National Security and Society; Technology and Humanity; Novel Treatments in Neuropsychiatry; and Law and Neuroscience. For more information, please click on the links below.

Prof. James Giordano, PhD, is a neuroscientist, Vice President for Academic Programs and Director of the Center for Neurotechnology Studies at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. Prof. Giordano's new blog, NeuroBioEthics,  addresses current issues in neuroscience and complements CNS' mission to provide neutral, in-depth analysis of issues at the intersection of neurotechnology, neuroethics, and public policy. For more information about CNS, watch the video on this page. For more information about Prof. Giordano, click here.

Prof. James Giordano, PhD, is a neuroscientist, Vice President for Academic Programs and Director of the Center for Neurotechnology Studies at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. Prof. Giordano Tweets on current events in neuroscience, neurotechnology and neuroethics, and you can follow his CNS Twitter feed @Neurobioethics. CNS' mission is to provide neutral, in-depth analysis of issues at the intersection of neurotechnology, neuroethics, and public policy. For more information about CNS, watch the video on this page. For more information about Prof. Giordano, click here.

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies' Center for Neurotechnology Studies will be at Booth 3111 at the Society for Neuroscience's Neuroscience 2011 conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.  This year's event will be held from November 13-16.  Stop by and learn more about CNS programs and events! Click here to watch the CNS video.   

Prof. James Giordano, PhD, Vice President of Academic Programs and Director of the Center for Neurotechnology Studies at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, spoke on "Neuroethics: Moral Issues from Synapse to Society" at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, New York, on December 9, 2010.  Click below to listen to parts one and two of Prof. Giordano's talk.

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The Capital Consortium for Neuroscience: Ethical, Legal and Social Issues (CCNELSI), www.ccnelsi.com,  was developed by Potomac Institute for Policy Studies Vice President for Academic Programs, Prof. James Giordano, PhD.  CCNELSI operates in conjunction with the Institute and its Center for Neurotechnology Studies as a forum for the exploration of emerging issues in neuroscience and accompanying ethical concerns. CCNELSI partners with area academic and research institutions to enrich the intellectual life of the DC and Northern Virginia communities. Lectures are held regularly at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. Click below to watch a video in which Prof. Giordano explains CCNELSI's mission.

 

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies' Center for Neurotechnology Studies was proud to co-sponsor the third Neuroscience: Ethics, Legal and Social Issues (NELSI-3) Conference, held on February 25, 2011 at George Mason University.  The topic of the program was Ethical Issues in the Use of Neuroscience and Neurotechnology in National Defense.  Prof. James Giordano, PhD, Vice President for Academic Programs at the Potomac Institute and Director of the Center for Neurotechnology Studies, chaired the conference.

Please click below to watch a video of the conference in its entirety, or scroll down to see a list of timeline indicators for  individual presentations.

{flv}NELSI-3{/flv}

1) Introduction by Prof. James Giordano, PhD: 00:11
2) Welcome by Prof. James Olds, PhD: 03:56
3) Opening Plenary: Towards the Neuro-Future: Challenges and Opportunities by James Canton, PhD: 17:24
4) Can (and Should?) We Regulate Neurosecurity? Lessons from the History of Science, the Military and Regulation by Prof. James Tabery, PhD: 56:38
5) Mind Wars: Brain Research and National Defense by Prof. Jonathan Moreno, PhD: 93:28
6) Hazards of Translation and Transformation: A Critique of Neuroscience in National Security from Science Studies, Ethics and Human Rights by Prof. Jonathan Marks, MA, BCL (Oxon): 130:05 
7) Neuroethics and National Security: The Promise and Peril of Neuroscience Technology, with a Hopeful Coda by LtCol William Casebeer, USAF, PhD: 158:39
8) The Human Dimension and US National Security: Our Current Challenge, But Greatest Opportunity by Chris Forsythe, PhD: 205:35
9) The Neuroethical Classification of Modifications to Body and Self by Prof. John Shook, PhD: 240:10
10) Neuroscience and Technology in National Security: Toward a Stance of Preparedness and Neuroethics of Prudent Action by Prof. James Giordano, PhD: 268:50
11) Panel Discussion: 304:40

 

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies' Center for Neurotechnology Studies was proud to co-sponsor the third Neuroscience: Ethics, Legal and Social Issues (NELSI-3) Conference, held on February 25, 2011 at George Mason University.  The topic of the program was Ethical Issues in the Use of Neuroscience and Neurotechnology in National Defense.  Prof. James Giordano, PhD, Vice President for Academic Programs at the Potomac Institute and Director of the Center for Neurotechnology Studies, chaired the conference.

Please click below to watch a video of the conference in its entirety, or scroll down to see a list of timeline indicators for  individual presentations.

{flv}NELSI-3{/flv}

1) Introduction by Prof. James Giordano, PhD: 00:11
2) Welcome by Prof. James Olds, PhD: 03:56
3) Opening Plenary: Towards the Neuro-Future: Challenges and Opportunities by James Canton, PhD: 17:24
4) Can (and Should?) We Regulate Neurosecurity? Lessons from the History of Science, the Military and Regulation by Prof. James Tabery, PhD: 56:38
5) Mind Wars: Brain Research and National Defense by Prof. Jonathan Moreno, PhD: 93:28
6) Hazards of Translation and Transformation: A Critique of Neuroscience in National Security from Science Studies, Ethics and Human Rights by Prof. Jonathan Marks, MA, BCL (Oxon): 130:05 
7) Neuroethics and National Security: The Promise and Peril of Neuroscience Technology, with a Hopeful Coda by LtCol William Casebeer, USAF, PhD: 158:39
8) The Human Dimension and US National Security: Our Current Challenge, But Greatest Opportunity by Chris Forsythe, PhD: 205:35
9) The Neuroethical Classification of Modifications to Body and Self by Prof. John Shook, PhD: 240:10
10) Neuroscience and Technology in National Security: Toward a Stance of Preparedness and Neuroethics of Prudent Action by Prof. James Giordano, PhD: 268:50
11) Panel Discussion: 304:40

 

 

The Capital Consortium for Neuroscience: Ethical, Legal and Social Issues (CCNELSI), www.ccnelsi.com,  was developed by Potomac Institute for Policy Studies Vice President of Academic Programs, Prof. James Giordano, PhD.  CCNELSI operates in conjunction with the Institute and its Center for Neurotechnology Studies as a forum for the exploration of emerging issues in neuroscience and accompanying ethical concerns. CCNELSI partners with area academic and research institutions to enrich the intellectual life of the DC and Northern Virginia communities. Click below to watch a video in which Prof. Giordano explains CCNELSI's mission.

SUMMARY: The number of children hospitalized with methicillin-resistant staph infections (MRSA) has surged 10-fold in recent years, a study found. Unlike previous findings, most infections were caught in the community, not in the hospital. Almost 30,000 children were hospitalized with MRSA infections at the hospitals studied during the 10-year period. Most had skin or muscle infections, and 374 youngsters with MRSA died, though it isn't clear if MRSA was the sole cause.
STORY LINK: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iRjX2lfHwiT-BJIbwtjFnIYiOYWwD9FOC0HG0

ANALYSIS:  The growth of MRSA as a community threat is further evidence of nature’s resiliency.  MRSA is a Staph skin infection, which generally starts as small red bumps resembling pimples, boils or spider bites.  These can quickly turn into deep, painful abscesses that require surgical draining.  MRSA bacteria spreads easily through cuts and abrasions and skin-to-skin contact.  Susceptibility includes those in hospitals or living in close quarters (nursing homes, dormitories, military barracks) and among athletes sharing razors, towels, uniforms or equipment.  Symptoms include redness, warmth and tenderness of the wound, pus (a yellowish-white fluid that may have a foul smell), and fever.  

Preventive steps include the classic recommendations:  wash often, shower after athletic events, wear shower shoes, do not share personal items, and check yourself for signs of unusual rashes.  Ask to have any skin infection tested for MRSA before starting antibiotic therapy. Some drugs that treat ordinary staph aren't effective against MRSA, and their use could lead to serious illness and more resistant bacteria.

- Donald A. Donahue, DHEd, Executive Director, Center for Health Policy and Preparedness

SUMMARY: Two rural Georgians died last month from H1N1 influenza and despite the season, the virus is still circulating and health officials are still encouraging vaccination. Georgia is among several Southeast states to experience a spike in H1N1 hospitalizations earlier this year, most likely because the vaccination rates were the nation’s lowest.
STORY LINK: http://www.times-georgian.com/view/full_story/7394204/article-H1N1-kills-2-in-Paulding--vaccination-still-urged?instance=west_ga_news

ANALYSIS:  The unfortunate loss of two more Americans to H1N1 offers continuing proof of nature’s ability to afflict and of our own curious and costly penchant for allowing risk and not taking widely available and well proven precautions.  There is a lesson in the fact that, while the H1N1 pandemic has largely disappeared from public view and the media, people still fall victim to a disease than can be prevented by a safe and simple immunization.  While the report of the two recent cases does not indicate whether there was an underlying condition that contributed to either death, the fact remains that these individuals caught the flu from someone; it is still circulating.  

As a culture, we tend to place great faith in medicine’s ability to cure – and with good reason.  As a matter of individual and public health policy, however, reliance on cure over prevention can have dire consequences.  A recent study in Great Britain identified adverse reactions in almost half a population given prophylactic Oseltamivir (Tamilfu).  These reactions included nausea and vomiting, which can cause ceasing to take the medicine, thereby negating the preventive effect, or other serious health complications.  It is universally recognized that prevention is the best cure.  This is true for communicable disease, fire safety, school security, fiscal responsibility, ad infinitum…  Prevention only works, however, is we use the tools at our disposal.  Luck is not, and never will be, a reliable plan.

- Donald A. Donahue, DHEd, Executive Director, Center for Health Policy and Preparedness

SUMMARY: The CDC said the outbreak of potentially deadly E. coli 0145 linked to tainted lettuce has expanded by four states. Last week, two companies issued a recall of bulk romaine lettuce, commonly used at salad bars, in 23 states. The FDA said it is investigating a Yuma, Az., farm where the lettuce was harvested, but determining the point in the supply chain where the contamination occurred is difficult because it was distributed to wholesale and food service outlets, and "salad bars in general have the potential for lots more contact with lots of hands and people."
STORY LINK: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100511/ap_on_bi_ge/us_lettuce_recall

ANALYSIS:  Food safety remains a perpetual source of concern.  According to the CDC:  An estimated 76 million cases of foodborne disease occur each year in the United States. The great majority of these cases are mild and cause symptoms for only a day or two.  Some cases are more serious; there are an estimated 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths related to foodborne diseases annually.  Like many diseases, the very old, the very young, pregnant women, and people with an illness that reduces their immune system function are at the most risk.

While it would be hard to reduce the risk of exposure at places like a salad bar, some basic principles can reduce the odds of contracting “food poisoning.”  The CDC offers the following advice.  Meat, poultry and eggs should be thoroughly cooked.  Avoid cross-contaminating foods by washing hands, utensils, and cutting boards after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry and before they touch another food.  Put cooked meat on a clean platter, rather back on one that held the raw meat.  Refrigerate leftovers promptly.   Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables in running tap water to remove visible dirt and grime.  Remove and discard the outermost leaves of a head of lettuce or cabbage.  Wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food.  Avoid preparing food for others if you yourself have a diarrheal illness.  Changing a baby's diaper while preparing food is a bad idea that can easily spread illness.  Frequent hand washing is ALWAYS a good idea.  Finally, report suspected foodborne illnesses to your physician or local health department, especially if you think you may have become ill from a restaurant, community or church event, or other public venue.  Outbreak investigations begin with identification of the illness.  Your report can be the trigger for stopping an illness outbreak.

- Donald A. Donahue, DHEd, Executive Director, Center for Health Policy and Preparedness

SUMMARY: An E. coli outbreak possibly linked to tainted lettuce has sickened at least 19 people in Ohio, New York and Michigan, including students on three college campuses, prompting a recall throughout much of the country. Twelve of those sickened were hospitalized, three with life-threatening symptoms, the FDA said. The CDC said it was looking at 10 other cases probably linked to the outbreak. Freshway Foods said the lettuce was sold to wholesalers, food service outlets, in-store salad bars and delis; and the recall also affects "grab and go" salads sold at Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets and Marsh grocery stores.
STORY LINK: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/06/lettuce-recall-e-coli-pos_n_566956.html

ANALYSIS:
The convergence of convenience and technology has led to a seeming increase in the number of food-borne illness outbreaks in recent years.  Sources of food now span the globe and the concept of items available “in season” has subtly grown quaint.  As the production base and shipment channels have expanded, so too has the opportunity for contamination, typically at the source or in processing.  In some cases, such as the cited lettuce contamination, the source is relatively easy to identify.  In others, such as last year’s episode with salsa, the mystery can last for weeks and have a wide impact (many tomato farmers were forced to plow crops under, only to discover the source of the contamination was tainted jalapeños).

In this regard, folklore and your grandmother’s admonitions can serve you well.  Washing even pre-washed produce can reduce risk of contamination.  Conversely, undercooking can increase the risk of illness.  The CDC estimates that 76 million Americans get sick, more than 300,000 are hospitalized, and 5,000 people die from foodborne illnesses each year.

While there is nothing quite like that runny egg for breakfast or a juicy hamburger later in the day, it is important to understand how we expose ourselves to risk.  A wealth of information is available from http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/food/index.htm.  Barbeque season is upon us, in all its glory.  Some simple precautions can make a world of difference.  A popular police television show always advised “be safe out there.”  It cannot be said any better than that.

- Donald A. Donahue, DHEd, Executive Director, Center for Health Policy and Preparedness

This week offers one of those rare opportunities to write in the first person.  Presented with a question from the editor whether any “strange new diseases” were afoot, my answer is, thankfully, no.  This does not mean, however, there is nothing of note.  As warmer weather embraces the nation, outdoor activities increase.  The coughs and sniffles of flu season give way to mosquito bites, stinging insects, deer ticks with Lyme, and similar concerns.  The nature of life is there is always something that presents risk.  The repeated mantra of awareness and preparedness for the unexpected remains applicable.  

I am also inclined to comment on two recent events that are likely addressed elsewhere within these pages.  Not related to communicable illness or each other, they none-the-less underscore the need for vigilance.  The University of Virginia suffered the tragic loss of a promising, and some might say privileged, young life to what would appear in essence a domestic disturbance.  In New York’s Times Square, a larger tragedy was averted by alert citizenry and law enforcement.  The common thread is that workplace and other violence can intrude anywhere, from a refined and historic academic environment to a bustling urban tourist center.  Communicable illness similarly knows no boundaries.  Those of a certain age will recall Alan Funt ending his Candid Camera shows with the advisement:  “Someday, somewhere, when you least expect it…”  Disasters lurk in the same manner.  The question is, will you be caught by surprise?

- Donald A. Donahue, DHEd, Executive Director, Center for Health Policy and Preparedness

SUMMARY: Illnesses and infections once considered safely eradicated could soon make a dangerous comeback if Americans continue to misuse antibiotic drugs.
STORY LINK: http://www.aolnews.com/health/article/antibiotic-resistance-growing-as-us-health-risk/19454589

ANALYSIS:  Drug resistant illnesses have been gradually growing as a serious threat to humankind.  Analysis from the 2007 World Health Report shows how rapidly an effective tool can become useless:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source:  World Health Organization

The causes are many, including nature’s own ability to adapt.  Humans contribute by demanding and taking antibiotics for viral conditions or not completing the prescribed course of treatment when antibiotics are appropriate.  A similar phenomenon exists with anti-virals.  Viruses naturally adapt to overcome threats.  The indiscriminate use of anti-virals hastens the day when they will be ineffective.

At various points in recent history a black market in certain medicines has arisen.  Cipro and Doxycycline were in demand and had “street value” following the 2001 postal anthrax attacks.  Similar demand for Tamiflu developed during the past year’s H1N1 outbreak.  Uncontrolled use can have unintended consequences.  Simply stated, following physician’s orders can help slow this trend.  While science continues to pursue the next generation of cure, it must be recognized that the advances of the last century were remarkable.  Reducing exposure, getting vaccinated when possible, and using antibiotics and anti-virals as directed are steps that can be taken today.  Prevention works; hoping for a cure may not.

- Donald A. Donahue, DHEd, Executive Director, Center for Health Policy and Preparedness

SUMMARY: The virulent fungus strain that has killed 1 in 4 people infected in Oregon is also present in Washington and Idaho and is likely to spread into California, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center. The fungus, which is found on trees and the surrounding soil, releases deadly spores that can be easily inhaled. Previously limited to tropical and subtropical areas of the world, Cryptococcus gattii likely is spreading because of climate change. While there is treatment, there is no vaccine available. Most at risk are those who have frequent contact with soil.
STORY LINK: http://www.smartplanet.com/technology/blog/science-scope/deadly-airborne-fungi-in-oregon-expected-to-spread-to-california/1317/

ANALYSIS:  The impact of globalization has been profound.  Billions of people now travel all over the world, enjoying different cultures, visiting historic sites, and interacting as never before.  Foods that were once considered seasonal are now available year round.  And dangers once isolated by distance can travel to new, vulnerable locations.  International travelers routinely are reminded of restrictions on carrying plants, foodstuff, or animals.  Less evident may be fungus, insects, or other dangers not visible to the naked eye.  

There are basic steps that can be taken to limit exposure to dangers such as this.  One is to have “situational awareness.”  Know what threats lie in waiting, be it Cryptococcus gattii, poison ivy, or rattlesnakes.  When working with soil or plant life, be vigilant in washing yourself, your clothing, footwear, and even cars, ATVs, or bicycles.  Inspect yourself for exposures, especially small pest that may be hard to detect, such as the Lyme-carrying deer tick.  When visiting an area known or suspected to contain an environmental threat, know the symptoms for which to watch.  When in doubt, seek medical advice.  The old saw applies:  it is better to be safe than sorry.

- Donald A. Donahue, DHEd, Executive Director, Center for Health Policy and Preparedness

SUMMARY: At the one-year mark since the emergence of novel H1N1 influenza, CIDRAP News reviewed the lessons of the pandemic. Chief among them: the endless unpredictability of flu viruses. Unlike seasonal flu, H1N1 hit children and young adults much more than people over 65; it was relatively mild for most people, unlike the 1918 flu or devastating H5N1 avian flu which heavily shaped pandemic preparations; but it killed far more children and young people than typical seasonal flu and brought the first hint that obesity is a risk factor for severe complications.
STORY LINK: http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/swineflu/news/apr2310pandemic-jw.html

ANALYSIS:  It is likely that analysis of the H1N1 pandemic – what went wrong, what went right, and why we fared so well – will continue well into the future.  Several things should be immediately clear, however, and should drive continuing policy development and preparation.  An enduring lesson is that nature is highly adaptable.  Many of the standard recommendations for influenza proved to be less than optimal for this strain.  That H1N1 was milder than feared was fortunate.  A similar, rapid human-to-human spread of H5N1 would have profound global impact -- half of all cases to date have been fatal.

Family and workplace planning should emphasize staying healthy and reacting to the unexpected.  The now familiar exhortations about hand washing, cough etiquette, and cleaning common surfaces remain valid.  Similarly, creating an environment where illness is viewed as natural with interpersonal contact limited until after recovery will actually reduce overall sick time.  As we learned with SARS, the next health threat may not be what we expect.  The time to address gaps in planning and practice is now, when the need is not urgent.  The next outbreak may not be so kind.

- Donald A. Donahue, DHEd, Executive Director, Center for Health Policy and Preparedness

SUMMARY: Airline passengers are also susceptible to the spread of norovirus, best known for causing diarrhea and vomiting on board cruise ships, researchers have found. CDC investigators tracked an October 2008 outbreak of the acute gastrointestinal illness back to a flight returning tourists to California from a New England fall foliage bus tour. Sitting in an aisle seat or near a tour group member were strong risk factors for becoming ill, which suggests transmission of the virus occurred through person-to-person contact or indirectly via contamination of armrests, tray tables, or seat controls.
STORY LINK: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36568257/ns/travel-news/

ANALYSIS:   Anyone who has endured a bout with norovirus can attest it is neither pleasant nor do you have to be on a cruise ship to get infected.  Sometimes known by the misnomer “stomach flu” -- this virus is not related to influenza – this disease causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping and typically lasts for one to two days.  Highly contagious, norovirus is easily spread in places where people are in close, prolonged contact such as cruise ships.  Schools, nursing homes, and airplanes are also venues for transmission.

While it is impossible to totally prevent transmission, many of the tried and true admonishments can reduce the change of becoming ill:  wash your hands often, ensure frequent hand washing by food service workers and servers, and allow – insist even – that those who show symptoms of this disease stay home or away from others.  When incidents of norovisus illness are identified, cruise operators have implemented supplemental cleaning of common use areas (kitchens, bathrooms, elevators) and surfaces (telephones, doorbells and knobs). This is a prudent measure, at work and at home, for norovirus, influenza, and many other communicable diseases.  CDC recommends these steps for dealing with norovirus:
•    Frequently wash your hands, especially after toilet visits and changing diapers and before eating or preparing food.
•    Carefully wash fruits and vegetables, and steam oysters before eating them.
•    Thoroughly clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces immediately after an episode of illness by using a bleach-based household cleaner.
•    Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated with virus after an episode of illness (use hot water and soap).
•    Flush or discard any vomitus and/or stool in the toilet and make sure that the surrounding area is kept clean.
•    Persons who are infected with norovirus should not prepare food while they have symptoms and for at least 2-3 days after they recover from their illness.
•    Food that may have been contaminated by an ill person should be disposed of properly.
A heightened sense of awareness, sensitivity to reducing the rick of spread, and – perhaps most importantly – creating a culture where prevention and common response are routine are keys to avoiding this and other most unpleasant illnesses.

- Donald A. Donahue, DHEd, Executive Director, Center for Health Policy and Preparedness

SUMMARY: A health official said he let a Washington state daycare center remain open for several days after children were hospitalized with a deadly strain of E. coli because of concerns the infection would spread farther if parents took their children elsewhere. A 4-year-old boy died after being infected at the daycare center and three other children were sickened.
STORY LINK: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36349575/ns/health/

ANALYSIS:  Without knowing the specific details of this outbreak, it would be imprudent to speculate on what appears, on surface value, to be a public health decision that places children at risk.  This incident focuses attention on one of the many possible and practical reactions to a disease outbreak.  Until the source and means of transmission of a disease are identified, hasty reactions may actually worsen the situation.  For example, closing a high school in the face of an influenza outbreak may be appropriate.  If many of the parents are working or otherwise not home and a shopping mall is nearby, teenagers will tend to become restless and congregate, thereby not only negating the preventive measure of school closing but also exposing a far wider population.  Understanding the optimal course of action often requires many “what if” considerations and prior planning.  We typically defer disaster planning and practice, at times at our own peril.  A risk analysis, the beginning of prevention and response planning, and creating a knowledgeable and resilient workforce, community, or family are first steps in avoiding disaster.  “Every crisis is a human crisis” assumes tremendous meaning when you are that human.

SUMMARY: A study by scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Tokyo showed that wild ducks could be spreading the H5N1 virus far and wide. Satellites tracked migrating northern pintail ducks from a bird flu-infected marsh in Japan to nesting areas in Russia. The ducks did not necessarily carry the virus, but the species can be infected with H5N1 with no ill effects. H5N1 has been circulating in Asia and the Middle East, with occasional outbreaks in Europe, since 2003. Alaska is thought to be the most likely place for it to enter the Americas.
STORY LINK: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=10357061

ANALYSIS:  The nature of science is to seek empirical proof of what we know intuitively.  Disease must be communicated – carried and delivered by someone or something – to be communicable.  The source of avian flu is, as the name suggests, birds.  It makes sense that when that source, what is termed the “reservoir”, travels so too does the disease.  When West Nile virus first appeared in New York City in 1999, it was not the human victims who facilitated identification of the disease but rather the unusually large number of birds dying in the region.  Whether human or animal transmission, the fact that disease can be spread is the relevant issue.  Once pandemic influenza falls out of the media spotlight, it also tends to lose our attention.  The basic preventive and planning measures stressed over the past year – frequent hand washing, cough etiquette, immunization, monitoring travel, responsive sick leave policies, and a well-rehearsed and familiar disaster plan – remain highly relevant.  Illness and disasters may never be prevented, but their impact can be minimized through a culture of preparedness.

- Donald A. Donahue, DHEd, Executive Director, Center for Health Policy and Preparedness

SUMMARY: While the number of H1N1 deaths in the U.S. was comparable to a bad seasonal flu in 2009, swine flu claimed three times as many years of life because the victims were so young. While seasonal flu victims’ average age is 76, the average age of people killed by swine flu was 37. Using the average life expectancy of H1N1 victims, researchers calculated that the U.S. lost nearly 2 million years of life -- more than in the 1968 pandemic.
STORY LINK: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627545.000-swine-flu-no-big-deal-look-at-years-of-life-lost.html

ANALYSIS:
Media, social networking, and even scientific publications have recently entertained the strange notion that H1N1 was a minor event and that public health and other officials overreacted in response to this disease.  That more than 12,000 Americans died from flu-related causes could hardly be considered minor.  Factor in that many of these victims were young – some 1800, 15 percent, were children – and the scope borders on tragic.  According to the CDC, only 20 percent of Americans were vaccinated against H1N1, with health workers reporting a 37 percent vaccination rate.  As previously stated, one of the first steps toward reducing risk is recognizing when this is possible.  Those who minimize the potential of an influenza pandemic run the risk of being caught by surprise.  While this time was mild by comparison (a fact we see only in hindsight), the next time may not be.  The problem is we have no way of knowing beforehand.  Lack of awareness precludes preparedness, which in turn tempts disaster.  This is an invitation best left unsent.

- Donald A. Donahue, DHEd, Executive Director, Center for Health Policy and Preparedness

SUMMARY: A study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found company affiliation to be the greatest driver of farm-to-farm avian flu transmission risk. Typical multiple-farm contacts included workers, feed distributors, waste handlers and social contacts. The researchers used the model to analyze how an outbreak of H5N1 at a single farm on the Delaware-Maryland peninsula might spread through the poultry farm-dense region.
STORY LINK: http://gazette.jhu.edu/2010/04/05/biz-affiliation-could-increase-risk-of-transmission-of-avian-flu/

ANALYSIS:
The cited study examined how disease spreads in a region with a concentration of poultry farms that are a major economic presence.  Incidents of avian flu are particularly damaging to this industry because practice is to destroy infected flocks.  While the specific focus of this study was chicken farms, the applicability to other businesses, communities, and families is significant.  Communicable disease is spread by various means:  person to person, by vectors such as fleas or mosquitoes, and environmentally.  Understanding the patterns of travel and interactions of your employees or family members can be a meaningful tool in limiting potential exposure.  When is it appropriate to limit movement or contact?  Conversely, needless restrictions can have an adverse impact on the ability to conduct business.  Too often, decisions are based on emotional reaction versus a sound analysis of the potential danger.  Opting too far in either direction can have dire consequences.  An accurate risk assessment is a core characteristic of a Culture of Preparedness.  Understanding exposure is the first step toward reducing risk.  Reducing risk builds resiliency, an attribute that will keep you in business when the unexpected occurs.

- Donald A. Donahue, DHEd, Executive Director, Center for Health Policy and Preparedness

SUMMARY: Q-fever, a rare disease which normally strikes farm animals and the people who work with and around them, has infected hundreds of people in the Netherlands who have no contact with farms. Most people who contract the illness come down with flu-like symptoms or pneumonia for a few weeks, but some are sick for months and a handful have died. Jos van de Sande, an infectious disease expert at the public health department in a Dutch province, said it's not clear why the disease is spreading but that the bacteria may have mutated. "And now Q-fever is spread by the wind, and the whole population can get it."
STORY LINK: http://www.pri.org/health/global-health/outbreak-of-rare-disease-in-the-netherlands1924.html

ANALYSIS:
There are times when common occurrences assume uncommon significance.  Q-fever is rare in humans, but present globally (except in New Zealand).  Caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii, it prompts an unusual reaction among the public for multiple reasons:  it is seldom seen, it has a mysterious name, it has been a reportable disease in the United States since 1999, and it is officially listed as a bioterrorism concern.  Analysis of this outbreak must occur through two lenses:  that of the local phenomenon and that of the potential broader ramifications.  

For the first six years of the last decade, between 5 and 20 cases of Q-fever were reported annually in the Netherlands.  In the first half of 2007 that figure jumped to 63.  At that time, epidemiological investigation revealed only sporadic cases and family clusters related to direct animal contact.  This matched the historic manifestation of the disease.  The number grew to 200 cases annually until 2009, when the count exceeded 2000.  

Absent the specific details of the Dutch outbreak, it is impossible to postulate the contributory causes.  It is significant to note that only about one-half of all people infected with C. burnetii show signs of clinical illness.  It is possible that increased sophistication in diagnosis prompted by clinical education and highlighting of this disease improved detection of an already present contagion.  The media report also highlights growth in Dutch livestock farming and of goat farms in particular, goats being a primary reservoir of Q-fever.  To fully understand the interaction of human and environment, it is important to put the two into perspective.  The Netherlands is approximately the size of Connecticut and Massachusetts combined, with 60 percent more population than those two states.  This means there is a very congested region where urban and agricultural areas exist in close proximity.  There are multiple avenues of infection.  The CDC explains:

"Organisms are excreted in milk, urine, and feces of infected animals. Most importantly, during birthing the organisms are shed in high numbers within the amniotic fluids and the placenta.  The organisms are resistant to heat, drying, and many common disinfectants.  These features enable the bacteria to survive for long periods in the environment.  Infection of humans usually occurs by inhalation of these organisms from air that contains airborne barnyard dust contaminated by dried placental material, birth fluids, and excreta of infected herd animals.  Humans are often very susceptible to the disease, and very few organisms may be required to cause infection."

This paints a picture of exposure by proximity.  The bacteria can travel up to a kilometer in the wind.  Fortunately, Q-fever is treatable with antibiotics.  

A more ominous possibility exists that the sudden rise in cases is a result of human intervention:  bioterrorism.  Q-fever is listed as a potential bioterrorism agent because it is highly infectious – illness can be caused by a single cell – and relatively resistant to heat and drying.  It typically takes from 2-3 week to become ill following exposure.  Whether naturally occurring or of human origin, this and every other outbreak demands monitoring and attentiveness.  Being aware of an outbreak can help prevent exposure.  Responsive human resources policies, personal and workplace hygiene, and, if recommended by a physician, vaccination can minimize the impact of this disease.

- Donald A. Donahue, DHEd, Executive Director, Center for Health Policy and Preparedness

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