Bioterror experts meet in Kansas City, Missouri

A recent gathering of bioterrorism experts and officials in Kansas City, Missouri, discussed the threat of bioterrorism from local, regional and national points of view.
According to KCTV-5, the conference was held in conjunction and cooperation with the Kansas Area Life Sciences Institute and with veterinary schools at Kansas State University and the University of Missouri.
Kansas State University has been chosen to house a National Bio-Defense & Agro-Defense facility. It will be tasked with researching deadly animal diseases and will replace New York's Plum Island facility. Kansas State will also house the Department of Homeland Security’s Center of Excellence for Emerging Zoonotic Animal Diseases.

Discussions held during the symposium included a focus on West Nile Virus, Rift Valley fever and other foreign disease threats, KCTV-5 reports.
Since a 2001 anthrax attack that killed five people and sickened 17, there has been a dramatic increase in the planning, prevention and response to future attacks. According to the FBI, the government’s response in the wake of the attack led to unprecedented cooperation among various levels of law enforcement.
In his 2011 budget President Obama asked for an additional $6.48 billion for the nation’s biodefense capabilities. A bipartisan congressional committee in October 2009 chided the administrations level of preparations for a potential bioterror attack.
More than $61.9 billion has been spent on bioterror preparations since 2001.