|PCR Source: CDC|
|Ebola Treatment Unit Source: CDC|
Decontamination of equipment and PPE's beyond chlorine and or incineration, is addressed in a novel way by Xenex who produce a UV based robotic system. At the other end of the barrier/decontamination spectrum is decontamination of waste. In an article entitled: An Unexpected Ebola Infrastructure Problem: Waste," the author S.E.Smith notes: "Patients with [Ebola] virus produce 440 gallons of medical waste daily, including instruments, gowns, gloves, body fluids, sheets, mattresses and more. That's a substantial amount of medical waste in any situation, but its especially daunting in this case because it needs to be disposed of extremely cautiously, to avoid the risk of spreading infection." (Source: http://www.care2.com/causes/an-unexpected-ebola-infrastructure-problem-waste.html) US based hospitals were unprepared to handle the volume of waste generated by the handful of Ebola cases in the US. It is of interest to watch emerging technologies in this area. The US Department of Defense Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear command has identified formulations for ultrafine fiber liner material embedded with detoxifying compounds (Source:https://books.google.nl/books?id=2pY5ZLDEuroC&pg=SL3-PA11&lpg=SL3-PA11&dq=DARPA+virus+killing+surface+material&source=bl&ots=qyr83flZU9&sig=ROPQ4bSmz501euzRoq9FctMRMxU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=CeGoVLSSH9jvaIj4gegP&ved=0CE0Q6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=DARPA%20virus%20killing%20surface%20material&f=false) the potential uses of such materials in field/tent hospital construction and PPE applications are exciting would clearly merrit closer attention for production, procurement and eventual stockpiling.
Clearly the range of technologies which have come to the surface during this Ebola outbreak will likely change the composition of national strategic stockpiles for years to come. The postive result of this will be technologies and products with broad based applications for a range of public health security issues and bio-defence for force protection. As tragic as this Ebola outbreak is, indeed it was a wake up call after years of rather stagnant procurement not only with regard to US stockpiling but EU/NATO Member State acquisition as well. Bio-defence technology innovation has jumped by leaps and bounds and is likely to continue for years to come. Perhaps more importantly however is these technologies are highly applicable to such a wide range of events and not a 'one bug one drug' approach.My personal interest is in acquisition of technologies with broad applications to public health.
Dr.Jill Bellamy is an internationally recognized expert on biological warfare and defence. She has formerly advised NATO and for the past seventeen years has represented a number of bio-pharmaceutical and government clients working on procurement strategy between NATO MS and Washington DC. Her private government relations consultancy Warfare Technology Analytics is based in the Netherlands. Dr. Bellamy's articles have appeared in the National Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Sunday Times of London, Le Temps, Le Monde and the Jerusalem Post among other publications. She is a CBRN SME with the U.S. Department of Defence, Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence Information Analysis Center and CEO of Warfare Technology Analytics.