Emergency Guide Biological Threat
Biological ThreatBiological agents are bacteria, virus, or toxins that can kill or incapacitate people, livestock, and crops.
- Aerosols - biological agents are dispersed into the air forming a fine mist that may drift for miles. Inhaling the agent may cause disease in humans and animals.
- Animals – insects and animals such as fleas, mice, flies, mosquitoes, and livestock spread some diseases.
- Food and water contamination – some pathogenic organisms and toxins may persist in food and water supplies. Most microbes are killed, and toxins deactivated, by cooking food and boiling water for three minutes.
- Person-to-person – a few infectious agents, such as smallpox, plague, and the Lassa viruses, can spread through human contact.
- Move away from the agent quickly
- Remove and bag contaminated clothes and items
- Wash with soap and water
- Contact public health authorities
- Monitor local broadcast media for emergency information and instructions
- Seek medical attention if symptoms appear – public health instructions may include avoiding others or quarantine
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security at http://www.dhs.gov/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/