A catastrophic biological incident could threaten the Nation's human, animal, plant, environmental, and economic health, as well as America's national security. Such an event would demand a quick and effective response in order to minimize loss of life and other adverse consequences and, in the case of suspected criminal activity or terrorism, to thwart ongoing activity and prevent follow-on attacks. But response and recovery from a catastrophic biological incident is not a simple, formulaic process. Rather, it is a continuous process of data and information collection, evidence-based review, and decision making, all leading to an informed and constantly evolving series of critical and coordinated actions. Moreover, the response and recovery process involves the integration and coordination of data and capabilities from many different sectors, including public health, law enforcement, waste management, infrastructure management, and transportation. Strategic science and technology (S&T) investments are essential to provide the information that can support evidence-based operational decisions and strengthen response-and-recovery efforts. This book categorizes key scientific knowledge gaps, identifies technology solutions to these gaps, and prioritizes research areas that will enable government at all levels to make decisions more effectively during the response to, and recovery from, biological incidents.
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