Emergency Guide Biological Threat
Table of Contents
Part II: Natural Disasters and Public Emergencies
Biological agents are bacteria, virus, or toxins that can kill or incapacitate people, livestock, and crops.
Precautions for Known or Suspected Exposure
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
Additional information on Biological Threats is available on the following websites:
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security at http://www.dhs.gov/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/