May 8, 2002
Contact: Colleen Henrichsen, Clinical Center Communications Office, (301) 496-2563
An NIH Clinical Center researcher, along with 26 other experts on the Working Group on Civilian Biodefense, has published guidelines on response to viruses that cause deadly bleeding illnesses and could be used in a bioterroist attack.
The guidelines, published in the May 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), details the transmission, diagnosis and treatment of eight hemorrhagic fever viruses-including Ebola, Marburg, and yellow fever-that are considered potential biological weapons agents. Diseases caused by these viruses are characterized by fever and a range of bleeding disorders.
"An outbreak of Ebola or Marburg would have significant impact because they have a high death rate and lack specific treatments," said Dr. Luciana Borio, lead author of the statement. Borio is a fellow in the Clinical Center Critical Care Medicine Department and at the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies, which convened the working group.
The working group's consensus make a series of medical and public health recommendations to improve the nation's preparedness and response to a bioterrorist attack employing any of these agents. The JAMA consensus statement is available at http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v287n18/abs/jst20006.html.
The Clinical Center is the research hospital of the National Institutes of Health. Through clinical research, physicians and scientists translate laboratory discoveries into better treatments, therapies and interventions to improve the nation's health. NIH is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.