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The BioWatch program is a Department of Homeland Security early warning program that deploys detectors to collect data that are then analyzed to detect the presence of specific biological agents, natural and man-made.
The Program develops and disseminates guidance and other documents geared toward the public health community, which provide information necessary to prepare for and respond to the detection of an agent of interest. The Program also evaluates state and local implementation of guidance documents through an active exercise program which serves to assure that BioWatch coverage areas have the capability to respond to a detection. According to DHS, the combination of early warning and rapid public health response can substantially minimize the potentially catastrophic impact on the population.