North Carolina will be the national model for a new system to detect the earliest signs of an impending bio-terrorism attack and provide warnings in time to minimize damage to human and animal life as well as the environment The model, called North Carolina Bio-Preparedness Collaborative (NCB-Prepared), will alert health officials and practitioners within hours of symptom outbreaks that might indicate a bioterrorist attack, threat of disease, food-borne illness or other threats to public health and safety. The congressionally funded one-year, $5-million project is a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill). Initial collaborators include UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University and SAS Institute. The effort includes participation of the N.C. Division of Public Health and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Durham, as well as others from the public and private sectors. A chairman of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, was instrumental in bringing together experts in threat detection, data collection and dissemination, emergency preparedness and computer analytics to develop a model early-warning system. He also sponsored a measure in Congress to provide a $5-million grant to fund the project.

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