Better detection key to combating Ebola, other viruses, Battelle VP says

Mathew Shaw, vice president and general manager of Battelle's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) Defense division, addressed a global conference on the future of bio-threat detection on Wednesday.

Homeland security and defense experts heard Shaw speak at the seventh annual CBRNE Convergence conference in Long Island.

Shaw said the Ebola outbreak and cases of Enterovirus D-68 show the need for better detection.

“You hear a lot of concern over viruses becoming ‘aerosolized’ because inhalation is the easiest way for an infection to spread,” Shaw said. “That’s why it’s critical to be able to recognize the presence of an infectious bioaerosol as quickly as possible, preferably before people start getting sick. Early detection and rapid medical diagnosis are our best lines of defense.”

Battelle has been aiding the U.S. Department of Defense in developing countermeasures to viruses and other microbes that have become aerosolized, able to be spread in the air, as far back as 1990. It also helped the U.S. Army develop technology for its mobile "lab-on-a-truck."

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