Biosafety facility to prepare first-responders for terrorist attacks

10/10/05

In a world of terrorist alerts and threats, the need for a stronger defense against biological attacks is paramount. Kent State will open its state-of-the-art Biosafety Training Lab, at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 12, as part of a national effort to teach procedures and protocols to those working with, and responding to, attacks involving harmful biological agents.

The laboratory features state-of-the-art equipment for microbial DNA detection, real-time microbe counting and Web cameras, so advanced training activities can be taught in the new laboratory and viewed over the Internet. The laboratory provides a simulated environment for training, where students follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocol and are trained to detect bioterrorism without manipulating the actual biological agents. The laboratory does not house select agents.

The Northeast Ohio Consortium for Biopreparedness (NEOCB), headquartered at the Kent Campus, is one of only two CDC biosafety laboratory training facilities in the entire United States.

The opening of the Kent State lab coincides with a day-long Public Health Preparedness Symposium, where Dr. Ed Thompson Jr., chief of public health practice at the CDC, will address "The State of Public Health Preparedness in the U.S."

For more information about the NEOCB or the symposium, go to: http://cphp.kent.edu/.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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