Dr Sally Leivesley
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Biological Threats: Overview

Newrisk Limited and its principal adviser, Dr Leivesley, have advised organisations and governments on biological threats, including anthrax attacks and pandemic risks - specifically in relation to avian influenza.

Pandemic protection advice has previously been provided by Newrisk Limited to cover risks posed to those at home and in the workplace as well as specialist advice for critical infrastructure teams and critical function departments in government and defence units.

In 2005-2006, workshop exercises were conducted for corporations on pandemic survival and business continuity under extreme pandemic threats (including exercises on threats to critical British infrastructure from anthrax and other forms of biological threat). Newrisk Limited's principal adviser, Dr Leivesley, has provided research papers on biological threats to the Permanent Monitoring Panel for the Mitigation of Terrorist Acts for the World Federation of Scientists. Dr Leivesley has also provided media commentary on threats to businesses and practical measures which individuals can take to self-protect when faced with a biological threat.

For previous lectures, conference papers, workshops, publications and commentary on biological threats, please click here.

Newrisk Limited is able to provide a variety of services to organisations and governments in connection with biological threats, including risk assessments, continuity planning and employee preparedness training. To request one of these service, please contact Newrisk Limited directly.

Other Areas of Expertise

Newrisk Limited's areas of expertise cover the preparation for, and response to, catastrophic and extreme risk events as well as major incidents and business continuity.

Dr Leivesley is, on behalf of Newrisk Limited, ideally qualified to provide advisory services to organisations and governments and her practice background, publications, presentations and media are listed under the following areas of expertise:

Audit Assurance Risk Aviation Expertise Catastrophic Risk CBRNE Expertise Chemical Threats Continuity Planning Expertise Criminal Justice Expertise Cyber Security Expertise Defence and Policing Expertise Disasters Expertise Education Expertise Emergency Services Expertise Explosives Incidents Financial Threats Expertise Insurance Expertise London in 2012 Nuclear Incidents Radiological Incidents Reputation Management Expertise Risk Management Expertise Terrorism & Security Expertise Transportation Security Expertise

To request Newrisk Limited's assistance in connection with any of these areas of expertise or to discuss a tailored package of services, please contact Newrisk Limited directly.


Sally Leivesley





Self- protection against Ebola may initially be based on a two-factor identification of (i)_fever and (ii)_travel to West Africa in the past 21 days.  The spread of frightened people from West Africa may soon remove the West Africa region as a risk identifier. Travellers in planes, trains, ships and buses may see someone with red eyes, flu-like symptoms, vomiting and diarrhoea (refer to CDC website for symptoms). Self -protect by isolation from family; one room with separate toilet and washing; ask medical advice (preferably remote calling); check temperature twice daily for 21 days.  Early diagnosis gives better medical support and clinical symptoms are the important sign as blood tests take time. Business self-protection is now a must-do! Exercise pandemic plans; find non-invasive thermometers for suspect staff before entry to building; call for medical advice and then send home 21 days. Travel restrictions to West Africa; when global spread is rapid, consider reducing flight frequency;  daily hand washing reminders; special body fluid cleaning plan; access to disposable gloves; eye protection,masks; waterproof aprons, disposable coveralls, very watered down bleach solution; and increase floor disinfecting.  

Countermeasures to reduce any emerging threat from the Islamic State (IS) to the UK and other countries requires renewed support by the public to police and intelligence services and military preparedness for in the event of ‘Westgate Mall’ style attacks where hostages are taken with the intention of ‘capture to kill’  during days of siege publicity. The brutality of ISIL’s visual social media messaging & videos has acted to recruit and stimulate British sympathisers and the leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has encouraged sympathisers to promote attacks in other countries. Beheading of hundreds of soldiers by ISIL in Tikrit in June delivered a brutal message that weakened Iraq’s army and  videos of families being slaughtered continues.  In London in May 2013, an attempted decapitation of an off-duty soldier identified how global media will focus on this brutal crime.  There are increased risks of  militia style attacks on secure facilities and iconic sites where seizure of the public (false hostage taking with the intent to kill) will influence through social media images of power. Muslims and mosques are IS targets abroad and may be at increased risk. The movement of weapons and knowledge of device construction at home by fighters coming back to UK with increased local support identified through IS Flags flown at a housing location and in street meetings may increase risk of suicide and vehicle bombs, individual assassinations, improvised grenades, rockets and other devices against people and buildings. The risk to civil aviation increases at airports and on planes through IS access to deceptive explosive devices in body cavities, sewn into bodies or made of chemicals difficult to detect in screening.