Young Bang and a team from Booz Allen Strategic Innovation Group join host Roger Waldron on this week’s Off the Shelf to share their expertise on analytics and data science, and how they are being used to better our lives. December 6, 2016
Epidemic Intelligence Service officers serve as the disease detectives when an outbreak happens.
A new test to quickly determine whether a patient has Ebola is under development at Health and Human Services. The test would deliver a diagnosis in 20 minutes and greatly assist in treatment and slowing the disease’s spread. Dr. Robin Robinson is the director of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority at HHS. He joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin with more on the test and the process by which the department set about creating it.
Workers on the front lines battling Ebola face a lot of dangers. One of the biggest? Simply taking off their protective suits at the end of the day. It’s a multi-step process with no margin for error. To combat this and other logistical problems, the U.S. Agency for International Development launched what it calls the “Fighting Ebola Grand Challenge.” It solicited designs and innovations from all over the world. Wendy Taylor, director of USAID’s Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin to parse the challenge’s results.
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health announced a vaccine they’ve been testing for the Ebola virus appears to be safe so far, and that a clinical study in West Africa could happen in early 2015. Is it too good to be true? Dr. Anthony Fauci is the director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to explain why the latest study’s finding of the vaccine’s safety is an important step forward.
The pace of new Ebola infections appears to have leveled off, but its too early declare victory. A lot of work is going on behind the scenes, on the research front. Army scientists are working on a vaccine for Ebola. With troops being deployed to West Africa to help control and treat the outbreak, Army scientists are taking the most advanced vaccines forward as quickly as possible. Dr. John Dye is the viral immunology branch chief at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. He tells Tom Temin on the Federal Drive that for the Army, research into infectious diseases has a long history.
The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency is helping with Ebola civilian relief efforts in Africa. The agency launches a new public website featuring maps showing power grids, roads and other infrastructure that might be useful to civilian workers. Tools will let users pinpoint Ebola cases by location. Tim Peplaw is director of NGA’s Readiness, Response and Recovery group. Peplaw points out to Tom Temin on the Federal Drive that for the NGA, support for humanitarian causes is nothing new.
An agency denies a federal contractor access to its facility after learning that he’s visited family in West Africa, in one sign of the confusion amid contradictory guidance from the White House, Pentagon and elsewhere.
The American Federation of Government Employees wants mandatory safety guidelines for federal Ebola responders. Those include nurses, doctors and employees at agencies including the Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection. Among the union’s priorities are better communication between agencies and universal protocols.
Some Homeland Security employees are worried about their exposure to the Ebola virus. Many of them work at the Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection. A few U.S. airports are screening passengers for Ebola. CBP employees will perform most of the checks. The American Federation of Government Employees wants agency management to put the right precautions in place. AFGE President J. David Cox joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with details.