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National Strategy for Biosurveillance

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Citation Edit

The White House, National Strategy for Biosurveillance (July 2012) (full-text).

Overview Edit

This publication commits the United States to new approaches to counter biological threats. The Strategy builds on the capabilities already in place and further institutionalizes efforts to ensure that the government is doing everything possible to identify and understand threats as early as possible. Its goal is to provide the critical information and ongoing situational awareness that enables better decisionmaking at all levels. It calls for a coordinated approach that brings together Federal, State, local, and tribal governments; the private sector; nongovernmental organizations; and international partners.

It challenges officials to take full advantage of the advanced technologies, new vaccines, the latest science, and social media that can help keep citizens safe. It describes the core functions and critical capabilities needed to succeed.

Four core functions form the basis of the Strategy: (1) scan and discern the environment; (2) identify and integrate essential information; (3) inform and alert decisionmakers; and (4) forecast and advise potential impacts. These core functions are interrelated, multidimensional, and it is intended that they are pursued simultaneously, informing and influencing each other as part of a dynamic process. They are intended to increase incident understanding and to inform decisionmaking at all levels, even where significant ambiguity exists. Accomplishing these functions will help us to achieve the overall goal of biosurveillance.

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