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In the work presented here, we study how to combine decoding and fusion at the access point (AP) in sensor networks for distributed binary detection. We assume that all sensors make noisy observations of the same spatially constant binary phenomenon and communicate to the AP through noisy communication links. Simple distributed channel coding strategies are analyzed, either using repetition coding at each sensor (i.e., multiple observations) or distributed (network-wide) systematic block channel coding (possibly with local fusion in the presence of multiple observations). In the latter case, the use of a relay is proposed. In all cases, the system performance is analyzed separating or joining the decoding and fusion operations at the AP. As expected, the schemes with joint decoding and fusion show a significant performance improvement with respect to that of schemes with separate decoding and fusion.