Bioterrorism | St. Louis Public Radio


Anthrax vaccine doses ready to be given to emergency responders are stored at Washington University.
Sarah Fentem | St. Louis Public Radio

Emergency responders in St. Louis are among the first to receive the anthrax vaccine as part of a federal program to inoculate local personnel.

Health officials from Washington University and local health departments have begun giving the vaccine to first responders who volunteer as part of a federal program testing the distribution of the shots to emergency personnel.

Anthrax is a disease contracted when a person consumes or inhales deadly spores of anthrax bacteria. When modified to a powdered form in a lab, anthrax can be distributed through the air by terrorists.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh discussed the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people that produced them and contributed to them.

SLU To Test Cancer Drugs Against Potential Biological Threat

Apr 4, 2013
Flickr/California National Guard

Saint Louis University is launching a study to explore whether two cancer medications could also help protect U.S. troops from bioterrorism attacks.

SLU is part of a consortium of institutions participating in the project, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 1, 2012 - Disaster experts in St. Charles County are looking for volunteers to test a drive-through plan for distributing antibiotics in a large-scale biological attack. Participants in the June 28 exercise won’t get fries with that, but they will get a Chick-Fil-A sandwich. The St. Peters location is providing 500 lunches for those who complete the drill.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 12, 2011 - WASHINGTON - Warning that the nation remains vulnerable to a large-scale bioterrorism attack, former U.S. Sens. Jim Talent and Bob Graham said Wednesday that the government needs leadership to set priorities to improve the response to a potentially devastating event.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 10, 2011 - WASHINGTON - Moon-suited investigators swab for spores in vacated suites of a U.S. Senate building. A Florida photographer, two postal workers in the nation's capital, and two women in the Northeast perish from inhalation anthrax. Speculation about the origins of the deadly pathogen leads to "white powder scares" across the country.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 24, 2011 - WASHINGTON - Nearly a decade after the deadly anthrax mailings that the FBI later traced to a government scientist, former U.S. Sen. Jim Talent is warning that the nation remains vulnerable to a far more serious anthrax attack by foreign terrorists.

In testimony to a U.S. House Homeland Security panel on Thursday, Talent -- vice-chair of the bipartisan WMD Terrorism Research Center -- said it is significant that al-Qaida's new leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is an Egyptian surgeon with a past interest in potential agents of germ warfare.