Biosecurity experts call technology only a small part of protecting the U.S.

At a recent biosecurity conference held in Washington, D.C., experts asserted that technology is only a small part of the system designed to protect the United States from terrorist threats.

Pamela Diaz, the director for biosurveillance coordination at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that biosurrveillance is actually a broad area that is in need of a skilled workforce that must partner with federal, state and local authorities to function properly, according to There is no single technological solution available, and to run successfully, there must be a high degree of coordination between partners.

“Imagine if you were to go to a physician for an ailment and the only thing the physician could do is listen to your lungs, and that was it,” Diaz said, reports. “There may be any number of other things wrong or going on that would be indicators of a problem with your health, but if that physician only looked at that one point, it would be, perhaps, not in your best interest."

Several speakers said that the acquisition of new technologies cannot replace building human partnerships for information gathering and the improvement of existing early warning networks.

Randall Larsen, the head of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Center, a research nonprofit and education organization, compared the vigilance needed to fight against naturally and man-made pathogens to a traditional war.

“If somebody is attacking America with biological weapons, particularly a contagious pathogen, then America has become a battlefield,” Larsen said, reports. “And on the battlefield the leaders must have situational awareness. You have to know what’s going on.”