News Briefs: Web site helps ID bioterror agents

A new web site funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in Rockville, MD, is designed to teach physicians and nurses how to diagnose and treat rare infections and exposures to bioterrorist agents.

Designed by researchers in the Center for Disaster Preparedness at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) under contract from AHRQ, the site is the first of its kind to offer free continuing education credits in bioterrorism preparedness to clinicians. It currently offers five on-line courses through the UAB Office of Continuing Medical Education for emergency department clinicians, including physicians, nurses, radiologists, pathologists, and infection control practitioners. The web site address is

"This web site is an important new tool to help doctors and nurses identify rare infections that also could be potential bioterrorist threats," says AHRQ director John M. Eisenberg, MD. "The evidence-based information will help frontline clinicians in our nation's hospitals be better prepared in the event of another bioterrorist event."