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Chapter 4 : The Role of Sampling in the Phases of a Biological Event: Fact and Fiction in an Airport Scenario
This chapter examines the different sampling goals and strategies associated with each phase to provide an overall perspective and framework for understanding the role of environmental sampling in a biological event. Specific sampling methods are mentioned; however, the chapter is not intended to provide a comprehensive review of either sampling or analysis methods. A fictional airport scenario is provided in order to better convey the sampling issues and to place them in a realistic context. The airport scenario which follows is based on the discovery of physical evidence. The initial assessment phase may involve sequential sampling from the different groups involved in the response and investigation. The chapter provides a discussion that identifies some of the these groups and clarifies their roles. The location is classified as a crime scene, and access is restricted to law enforcement personnel in order to ensure that forensic evidence can be collected without compromise. As noted at the beginning of this chapter, incidents may be triggered not by the discovery of physical evidence but by reports of symptoms or disease. While the chapter focuses on sampling strategy, it is also important to remember that limitations in current sampling methods should be taken into consideration. Several positive clearance samples were obtained in one restricted baggage conveyor, requiring a round of recleaning and retesting per the provisions of the remedial action plan (RAP).