Biological agents are organisms or toxins that can kill or disable people, livestock, or crops, and a biological attack is the intentional release of germs or other biological substances that can make you sick. There are three types of biological agents that could be used as weapons: bacteria, viruses, and toxins.
Before a Biological Threat
Make an emergency supply kit, ensure that everyone in your family is immunized, and consider installing a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter in your furnace return duct. A biological attack may or may not be obvious right away.
During a Biological Threat
If you have been exposed to a biological agent, remove and bag your clothes and personal items, and follow official instructions for disposal of contaminated items. Contact authorities and seek medical assistance.
After a Biological Threat
Due to increased demand, medical services for a biological event may be handled differently, but the basic procedures and medical protocols for dealing with biological agents are the same as for any infectious disease. For a complete list of potential agents and diseases, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What are some ways that health care workers can prepare for a bioterrorist attack?
Nonetheless, during a major bioterrorist attack, u201cgenericu201d public health duties are predictable: providing accurate information to health-care providers and the general public about the status of the epidemic and protective measures; conducting disease surveillance and contact tracing; and administering vaccines or prophylactic antibiotics.
What do you do in case of a bioterrorist attack?
If your symptoms match those described and you are in the group considered at risk, seek emergency medical attention immediately. Contact authorities and seek medical assistance. You may be advised to stay away from others or even to quarantine. If your symptoms match those described and you are in the group considered at risk, seek emergency medical attention immediately.
Are we prepared for a bioterrorist attack?
Preparedness appears to be the most effective defense against potential bioterrorist events , with reports indicating that we are unprepared to deal with a terrorist attack using biological weapons. Biological warfare agent awareness and preparedness must be accepted as a part of national biodefense policy.
What role would Epidemiological surveillance play if there were a bioterrorist attack?
Syndrome surveillance has been used for early detection of outbreaks, following the size, spread, and tempo of outbreaks, monitoring disease trends, and providing reassurance that an outbreak has not occurred.
How do you find a bioterrorist attack?
Detecting a bioterror attack is, however, very similar to using serologic surveys to detect the response of pathogen-specific immunoglobulin M antibodies (as an indicator of recent contact of hosts with pathogens) within a population of hosts.
What is an example of bioterrorism?
Anthrax receives the most media attention, but other bioterrorism agents include botulism, plague, and smallpox, as well as tularemia, brucellosis, Q fever, and viral hemorrhagic fevers.
What are three types of bioterrorism diseases?
Diseases Caused by Bioterrorism
- Smallpox (variola major)
- Tularemia (Francisella tularensis)
- Viral hemorrhagic fevers (filoviruses [e.g., Ebola, Marburg] and arenaviruses [e.g., Lassa, Machupo])
What are the symptoms of bioterrorism?
Sore throat, fever, double or blurred vision, rash or skin blisters, exhaustion, difficulty speaking, confusion, descending muscle weakness, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and coughing are some of the symptoms of exposure to a biological agent.
What bioterrorism agent is responsible for muscle weakness?
Botulism toxin paralyzes muscles by binding irreversibly to presynaptic motor nerve terminals and blocking acetylcholine release.
When has bioterrorism been used?
In 1347, Mongol forces are said to have catapulted plague-infested bodies over the walls into the Black Sea port of Caffa (now Feodosiya, Ukraine), which was at the time a Genoese trade center in the Crimean Peninsula.
How can we prevent biological weapons?
Vaccinating military personnel against anthrax and other diseases caused by biological weapons; developing methods for the rapid detection of biological threat agents; and developing and stockpiling vaccines and antimicrobial drugs that could be used to protect the public against diseases are all examples of preparedness measures.
What is an example of a biological weapon?
Biological warfare agents include bacteria, which are single-celled organisms that cause diseases like anthrax, brucellosis, tularemia, and plague, as well as rickettsia organisms, which cause diseases like Typhus and Q fever.
How likely is a bioterrorist attack?
The 59 participants were asked to rate the likelihood of a large-scale biological weapons attack affecting at least 100 people in the next ten years, with responses ranging from one percent to one hundred percent, with an average of 57.5 percent.
What is the goal of bioterrorism?
Bioterrorism’s goal is usually to instill fear and/or intimidate governments or societies in order to achieve political, religious, or ideological objectives; however, bioterrorism may have a different impact on societies than weapons like explosives.
What is the actual risk of a bioterrorism event?
Bioterrorism and other high-impact biological events can cause mass casualties, epidemic illness, healthcare worker illness, environmental contamination, legal issues, and general unease among medical professionals and the general public.