July 27, 2012
A new tool that allows more rapid detection of hazardous biological attacks deserves Congressional funding, Heritage Foundation expert Steve Bucci explains.
The current BioWatch program–originally developed after the 2001 anthrax attacks–detects deadly pathogens released into the environment before they can spread. But the system has limitations, including lengthy detection times and a propensity to send false alarms.
Fortunately, an improved BioWatch system, BioWatch Generation 3, speeds detection times by up to six hours and reduces manpower needs, allowing more detection sites for the same investment.
“While greater work is needed to refine both systems and ensure the timely and accurate detection of potentially hazardous pathogens,” Bucci explains, “BioWatch is far from an ‘unnecessary expenditure.’”
Though we have yet to see any biological attack, even the possibility of one should justify funding for early detection.
Do you think programs like BioWatch are necessary?