Updated 02.09.2015

Tasks of CBB’s biopreparedness organisation

On-going activities

 

Specialised medical expertise

The main tasks are to prepare CBRN medical guidelines, to conduct training sessions, and to carry out medical and technical intelligence assessments in collaboration with, amongst others, the Danish Defence Intelligence Service and the Danish Security and Intelligence Service. This is done in order to have on-going biological threat surveillance and to enhance biological security.

 

Analysis 

The task is to coordinate relevant preparedness activities within research and development and to perform research and testing in relation to warfare agents and methods (weaponisation, weapons effects, inactivation, etc.) at the Centre. The analytical tasks also include threat assessments of scientific, technical, and general character. The assessments are an integral part of the CBB's modelling capability that is used both in relation to the on-going preparedness activities, and as a prognostic tool in relation to operational decision support.

 

24-hour preparedness teams

CBB’s responsibility is to ensure a 24-hour preparedness capability (including a Field Investigation Teams), to conduct training and education both internally and with other agencies (e.g. Police, The Emergency Management Agency, the military), to develop and maintain concepts of operations under different circumstances, and to maintain the necessary equipment. At the operational level an important element is the special expertise in dispersal in the form of the CBRN decision support system HPAC (Hazard Prediction & Assessment Capability).

The CBB preparedness organisation consists of an on-call Senior Medical Doctor with specialisation in microbiology and a Field Investigation Team. The tasks of the Field Investigation Team are to collect information, sampling, to conduct rapid laboratory analysis, and to provide expert medical advice in order to identify biological warfare agents, verification of dispersion area, and clinical advice on immediate actions to be taken including medical countermeasures. Furthermore, foreign specialist laboratories with BSL 4-facilities are included in the 24-hour preparedness capability.

 

Operational activities

When a biological terrorist incident is suspected, whether it is a Type 1-incident (primary attack) or a Type 2-incident (disease outbreak), the Centre conducts an intelligence-based threat assessment as a basis for the investigational effort and a coordinating group is established at the Centre. In the case of accidental release of dangerous biological agents (Type 3-incident), the same procedure is carried out, but instead of a threat assessment a risk analysis with other components is conducted.

As with any other service from Statens Serum Institut (SSI), the investigation is conducted under medical direction and responsibility. The investigation makes use of a number of tools which can be both internal capabilities at CBB or SSI, and external capabilities, including domestic and foreign authorities and agencies.

CBB coordinates all answers and conclusions and reports these to, normally, the Police. The report contains an overall conclusion of the investigation and provides relevant expert advice. As part of the implementation of countermeasures, CBB has access to SSI's emergency vaccines and other medicaments.

  • Medical intelligence. CBB collects relevant information to analyse the incident; partly from the Centre's own sources, and partly from the Danish Defence Intelligence Service and the Danish Security and Intelligence Service
  • Clinical picture. CBB obtains information about potential illness in connection with the incident – presentation of symptoms, course of disease, and paraclinical results
  • Epidemiological situation.  In connection with a possible disease outbreak, CBB collects information about the epidemiological situation, for example, from the local health inspectors, or via an epidemiological field investigation carried out in collaboration with experts from the Department of Epidemiology at SSI
  • Sampling. Collection of samples from the environment, or, if possible, from clinical material from animals and humans takes place nationally by activating CBB’s Field Investigation Teams. The teams take samples for subsequent analysis of biological substances 
  • Laboratory Analysis.  Laboratory analysis takes place in CBB’s laboratory facilities which are manned by a 24 hour duty officer. If necessary, CBB can also draw on specialist laboratories with BSL 4-facilities in other countries
  • Dispersal Analysis. CBB demarcates the contaminated area, and identifies potentially exposed individuals, i.e., by using a dispersal analysis from the decision support system HPAC. The reporting to other agencies takes place in accordance with classification requirements and the use of either couriers or encrypted electronic communications
  • Diagnosis. CBB collects all information and analysis results in an overall report that seeks to identify the cause of the incident and provide a prognosis for further progression (consequences, dangerousness, etc.)
  • Countermeasures. If necessary, the report includes recommendations for countermeasures, both medical (e.g. medical treatment or preventive vaccination), and physical (e.g., personal protective equipment, cordons, and decontamination). Implementation of these measures is coordinated by the Police
  • Information. If necessary, the report from CBB will include draft information for the press, potentially exposed persons or others, and, where necessary, CBB assists by informing other authorities

Contact us

Centre for Biosecurity and Biopreparedness 
Statens Serum Institut

5 Artillerivej
DK-2300 Copenhagen S

Telefon: +45 32688127
Email: cbb@ssi.dk