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Biosecurity Threats on the Rise: Climate Change and Beyond

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BNN Correspondents
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Biosecurity Threats on the Rise: Climate Change and Beyond

Rising Biosecurity Threats Amid Climate Change

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The head of Russia's health watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, Anna Popova, emphasized the evolving nature of biosecurity threats in the face of climate change. The adverse impacts of climate change on human health are becoming increasingly apparent. Environmental fragmentation is escalating viral spillover from wildlife to humans. Rising temperatures are widening the habitats of mosquitos and ticks, introducing vector-borne viruses to immunologically susceptible populations. Frequent flooding is facilitating the spread of waterborne viral pathogens, while prolonged droughts impair regional capacity to manage disease outbreaks with adequate water sanitation and hygiene resources. Additionally, deteriorating air quality and changing transmission seasons due to climate volatility may amplify the impacts of respiratory viruses.

Border Biosecurity and Spatial Strategy

Popova also touched on the politicization of biosecurity in the European borderland. Spatial strategies like fencing, biosecurity discourses, and perceptions of intrusive others co-produce national spaces and borders. For instance, a biosecurity fence constructed along the entire length of the Danish-German border was designed to prevent the migration of Eurasian wild boars and the spread of the highly contagious African Swine Fever.

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Fortifying the Bioeconomy

In response to the call for stronger laboratory device security protocols, the Bioeconomy Information Sharing and Analysis Center (BIO-ISAC) announced Fortifying the Bioeconomy. It is a comprehensive resource on shared responsibility in hardware and software lifecycle management, offering new tools for industry partners and organizations in the bioeconomy. The Hardware and Software Security Working Group at BIO-ISAC, led by Vincent Cervone of Purple Raven Cybersecurity and Jess Smith, PhD, of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, developed these tools.

US Congress and Health Security

As part of its efforts to address health security, the US Congress has undertaken extensive activities before the August recess. It is considering several crucial public health programs, set to expire on September 30, including Community Health Centers, the Pandemic Preparedness Office, Global AIDS Funding, Programs to Address Opioid Use Disorder, and Health Workforce Training. Congressional committees have also voted on a framework of PBM reform bills, which might lead to a more extensive reform package this fall.

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