BioWatch and Public Health Surveillance: Evaluating Systems for the Early Detection of Biological Threats: Abbreviated Version

Author information: IOM (Institute of Medicine) and NRC (National Research Council). (Committee: Goldstein BD, DeSimone JM, Ascher MS, Buehler JW, Cook KS, Crouch NA, Doyle FJ, Foldy S, Gursky EA, Hoffman S, Johnson CB, Keim P, Kellerman AL, Kleinman KP, Layton M, Lee EK, Mayor SD, Moshier TF, Murphy FA, Murray RW, Owens DK, Pollock SM, Resnick IG, Schaudies RP, Schultz JS)

Following the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the anthrax letters, the ability to detect biological threats as quickly as possible became a top priority. In 2003 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) introduced the BioWatch program--a federal monitoring system intended to speed detection of specific biological agents that could be released in aerosolized form during a biological attack. 

The present volume evaluates the costs and merits of both the current BioWatch program and the plans for a new generation of BioWatch devices. BioWatch and Public Health Surveillance also examines infectious disease surveillance through hospitals and public health agencies in the United States, and considers whether BioWatch and traditional infectious disease surveillance are redundant or complementary.