The Mission Of The Viral Defense Foundation Is To Foster The Development And Integration Of Rapid Detection Of Viral Attacks And Rapid And Effective Responses (RD/RR) To Them

Viruses constitute a major existing and credible threat to the population of the United States because:
1. Most viral infections are essentially untreatable after infection occurs. Bacterial infections, in contrast, are generally treatable with antibiotics.
2. New lethal viruses continue to appear (e.g., SARS, Ebola, HIV, etc.)
3. Vaccines, effective only against known viruses, require up to seven years to develop and license. Most vaccines work only if given prior to exposure.
4. Antiviral drugs thus far lack the effectiveness and wide-spectrum applicability of antibiotics.
5. All viruses may be modified to escape vaccines and drugs.
6. Viral pathogens can be and have been synthesized in the laboratory.
7. A viral epidemic, once unleashed, can, unlike chemical or nuclear agents, be self propagating.
8. Current means for detecting new outbreaks are episodic, depend on accidents of notice, unusual symptoms, and rarely detect an outbreak before several cycles of infection have occurred.
9. Almost all known wide-area detection systems are agent specific, i.e., detect only known agents.
10. There does not appear to exist today an organization or agency capable of mobilizing the wide spectrum of technologies and specialists required to develop quickly and efficiently global screening or a rapid and effective response to new lethal viral agents.
11. It must be concluded that only conventional public health measured offer protection against a new lethal virally induced epidemic or attack.
12. We conclude that there exists an urgent requirement for an extraordinarily flexible and imaginative organization to define and attempt to solve the RD/RR problem.

The objective of the Viral Defense Foundation is to attempt to define and solve the problems raised by these facts by whatever means are required or can be found. It is evident that much of the work must be done collaboratively.

Should a new lethal virus appear and spread throughout the population, detection and response must be rapid. Given modern transportation, the epidemic may be expected to be rapidly spread nationwide.

Only actions and reactions that can occur within the first six weeks will actually save lives. We have therefore examined elements of a RD/RR system that can fit in that time frame.

The VDF is a non-for-profit foundation using both private and public funds to solve RD/DD problems. Public contributions in any amount are here most usefully employed.