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Just Released: Clinicians’ Biosecurity Resource App

CBN Editors, January 17, 2012

CBR app imageThe Center for Biosecurity has just launched the Clinicians’ Biosecurity Resource (CBR) iPhone app, which is available at no charge through the iTunes App Store.

The most dangerous potential biothreats: CBR provides rapid access to the information clinicians need to recognize disease caused by the most dangerous potential bioweapons and to manage the care of patients who may have been exposed. Those agents include the following 6  pathogens: Bacillus anthracis (anthrax), Clostridium botulinum toxin (botulism), Hemorrhagic fever viruses (Ebola, Marburg, etc.), Yersinia pestis (plague), Variola virus (smallpox), and Francisella tularensis (tularemia).

For each of these 6 pathogens, there is a history of offensive weapons research, and disease caused by any of them would be associated with high case fatality rates. The appearance of suspected cases would, therefore, be cause for concern, and rapid diagnosis would be essential.

Succinct information, optimally organized: In the event of a biological attack, rapid, informed healthcare response will be critical. During a biological attack, clinicians will have to make diagnoses, initiate treatment, and communicate with patients and families. To support timely and accurate response, CBR presents optimally organized, succinct information that can be used by all clinicians, including those who may not specialize in infectious disease but will likely play a role in response to a biological attack.

Because natural occurrences of these diseases are rare in the U.S., and smallpox has been eradicated, the CBR is also designed to raise awareness and healthy suspicion among clinicians. It is, after all, frontline clinicians who are often credited for recognizing cases and outbreaks of uncommon diseases. The CBR is also designed to be useful for all healthcare professionals and students.

Agent profiles compiled from authoritative sources: In addition to providing the following information, each profile also links to CDC guidelines and other authoritative resources.

  • Naturally occurring disease (except for smallpox)
  • Use of the agent as a bioweapon
  • Priority actions if exposure is suspected
  • Clinical features of disease caused by agent used as a bioweapon
  • Microbiological diagnosis
  • Recommended treatment
  • Postexposure prophylaxis
  • Prevention and/or vaccination
  • Personal protection and/or infection control

Information presented in the CBR has been compiled and digested by Center for Biosecurity experts from the following sources: Center for Biosecurity Fact Sheets; a series of consensus statements regarding these agents published in JAMA; and Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases by Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett. The CBR was authored by Kunal J. Rambhia, MS; Matthew Watson, EMT-P; Amesh A. Adalja, MD, FACP; and Eric Toner, MD.

Regular updates: The CBR will be reviewed and updated biannually to ensure that the profiles are accurate and up-to-date. However, the CBR app is not a substitute for clinical guidance, and any decisions about treatment of individual patients should be made in consultation with infectious disease physicians, hospital leadership, state or local public health agencies, and/or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as appropriate.

Clinicians’ Biosecurity News in your hand: The CBR provides also provides mobile access to Clinicians’ Biosecurity News (CBN). Current subscribers will continue to receive CBN via email and will have the option of reading articles on their iPhones as well. Each time a new CBN article is published, you can choose to be notified through the CBR and read the article in the app.

Feedback welcomed: Once you’ve downloaded the CBR and had a chance to use it, if you have comments, suggestions, or requests for additions to future versions of CBR, we would love to hear them. Please send us an email.

Download CBR now.