Biological Terrorism, Emerging Diseases, and National Security

This report argues that public health surveillance for emerging diseases and preparedness for biological terrorism are strongly related. It first surveys possible scales of bioterrorist attacks and the extent to which these have proven or may prove difficult to distinguish from outbreaks of emerging diseases. Building on these examples, the report makes recommendations for how the United States could better prepare to meet the threat of biological terrorism. These recommendations range over domestic and international improvements in public health surveillance, the need for improved coordination within the U.S. government, and plausible verification measures for the Biological Weapons Convention.