Biopreparedness, Simulations & Field Exercises

Biopreparedness is about developing sound national and international capabilities to respond, investigate and mitigate outbreaks of disease, including those due to alleged use of biological weapons. Regular exercises (table-top and field training) are essential tools in building and sustaining  effective capabilities. 

In May 2017, I took part as an observer in a biopreparedness exercise with the Portuguese Army. The exercise took place at a coastal artillery battery outside Lisbon, and involved cases presenting with plague-like symptoms in local hospitals, the discovery of a clandestine biolab in a disused bunker, the taking of samples and their transfer to a biodefence lab for analysis. I co-authored a Working Paper submitted by Portugal to the BWC that describes the exercise in more detail.

Photos

Key publications:

United Nations Working Paper BWC/MSP/2017/WP.11 submitted by Portugal to the BWC Meeting of States Parties in December 2017

Lentzos, Filippa & Jacob Thorup Cohn (2014) “Biopreparedness: Developing vaccines for an eradicated disease” BioSocieties, Vol.9(4): 421-430.