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Surviving A Biological Attack

A bioterrorism attack is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs (agents) used to cause illness or death in people, animals, or plants. These agents are typically found in nature, but it is possible that they could be changed (weaponized) to increase their ability to cause disease, make them resistant to current medicines, or to increase their ability to be spread into the environment. Biological agents can be spread through the air, through water, or in food. Terrorists may use biological agents because they can be extremely difficult to detect and do not cause illness for several hours to several days. Some bioterrorism agents, like the smallpox virus, can be spread from person to person and some, like anthrax, can not.

CDC Bioterrorism Agent Categories

Bioterrorism agents can be separated into three categories, depending on how easily they can be spread and the severity of illness or death they cause. Category A agents are considered the highest risk and Category C agents are those that are considered emerging threats for disease.

Category A

These high-priority agents include organisms or toxins that pose the highest risk to the public and national security because:

  • They can be easily spread or transmitted from person to person

  • They result in high death rates and have the potential for major public health impact

  • They might cause public panic and social disruption

  • They require special action for public health preparedness.

Some Category A agents: Anthrax, Botulism, Plague, Smallpox, TularemiaViral Hemorrhagic Fevers

Category B

These agents are the second highest priority because:

  • They are moderately easy to spread

  • They result in moderate illness rates and low death rates

  • They require specific enhancements of CDC's laboratory capacity and enhanced disease monitoring.

Some Category B Agents: Brucellosis, Food safety threats, Ricin toxin

Category C

These third highest priority agents include emerging pathogens that could be engineered for mass spread in the future because:

  • They are easily available

  • They are easily produced and spread

  • They have potential for high morbidity and mortality rates and major health impact.

Category C agents: Emerging infectious diseases such as Nipah virus and hantavirus

The Survival Strategy

1. Learn about threats and dangers in your area. Learn about and explore your options. Learn about any plans at your place of work, school, community and state.

2. Make a plan for sheltering at work and at home. Make alternate plans for transportation and routes, to your home from places you spend a lot of time. Plan as much as possible and prepare the necessary items, cash and so fourth to make your plan work. Plan for the fact that your plan may fail and need to be adjusted at a moments notice, so stay flexible. Plan to shelter at a evacuation center. Plan a place to go (family or friends) if you need to leave the area where you work and live. Plan how you will get there in a emergency. Plan how you will coordinate with family, friends and others.

3. Listen carefully to news reports and other information when it concerns possible biological agents. For example, many people getting sick, or unusual events involving places where people usually congregate.

4. Get A Survival & Firstaid Kit Keep a stock of food and water to last at least 3 -5 days. You can learn more by reading other pages on this site and doing more research. Remember, only N95 rated masks will provide any protection against airborne biologic agents or pandemic.

5. Stay away from any incident. Be careful about exposing yourself or others to any dangerous agent or event. If you aren't there generally you will be much safer and this allows emergency responders to do their jobs or get out of the area much quicker if it is necessary traffic jams and crowds can become a death zone in the wrong circumstances.

More Strategy Information HERE

More Information: Preparation & Planning for All Bioterrorism






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