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Letters: Detecting biological attacks

August 26, 2012

Re "Early warnings," Aug. 23

Detection of biological attacks on the United States is rapidly evolving and improving. The controversy regarding the high frequency of false alarms by BioWatch, the government's system for detecting such attacks, should be balanced by the fact that there are no or a very low frequency of false negative results (failure to detect the disease-causing agent).

If there was a bioterrorism attack on my city, I would feel more comfortable having a system with BioWatch's false-negative rate keeping watch.

Zeb Dyer

Goleta, Calif.

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