The portion of the US budget dedicated to biodefense spending has proved difficult to track since 2001. Expenditures are spread out among several agencies and are often combined with defense and pre-paredness initiatives for chemical or nuclear threats. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the few agencies with a biodefense line-item, has seen that part of its budget grow dramatically over the past several years. In addition, the nation's network of Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) laboratories, which are permitted to handle lethal agents that spread through the air and for which there is no known cure, is also undergoing expansion. This is in response to threats of bioterrorism in the United States and abroad and to the lack of vaccines, reliable post-exposure therapies, or even rapid diagnostic tests for many of the most dangerous diseases.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; The Sunshine Project;...

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