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Volume 9, Number 8—August 2003

Perspective

Detecting Bioterror Attacks by Screening Blood Donors: A Best-Case Analysis

Edward H. Kaplan*Comments to Author , Christopher A. Patton†, William P. FitzGerald†, and Lawrence M. Wein‡
Author affiliations: *Yale School of Management and Yale Medical School, New Haven, Connecticut, USA; †American Red Cross, Arlington, Virginia, USA; ‡Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA

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Table 2

False-alarm rates with test specificities as showna

          Specificity (s)           Annual false-alarm rate (FAR)
          0.9
          1,390,000
          0.99
          139,000
          0.999
          13,900
          0.9999           1,390

aIf one assumes 13.9 million annual blood donations tested, an average of one bioterror attack per year that infects 1,000 persons with a noncontagious agent, and a 1-month response and recovery period during which infected donations continue to arrive.

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