CIA Transnational Health and Economic Activities - Patterns of Infectious Diseases - Bioterrorism


The probability of a bioterrorist attack against U.S. civilian and military personnel overseas or in the United States also is likely to grow as more states and groups develop a biological warfare capability. Although there is no evidence that the recent West Nile virus outbreak in New York City was caused by foreign state or nonstate actors, the scare and several earlier instances of suspected bioterrorism showed the confusion and fear they can sow regardless of whether or not they are validated.

One of the challenges of detecting bioterrorism is that while automated aerosol detection equipment exists, it can cover only limited physical areas, such as high-value targets or troop concentration. In a civilian population, the first warning of covert terrorism is apt to come from clinicians that can compare many cases. An emergency room is one obvious place for comparison, but the availability of electronic health records, from which data from many office encounters can be extracted, with due regard for privacy, and searched for patterns.

Read more about this topic:  CIA Transnational Health And Economic Activities, Patterns of Infectious Diseases

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