Toxin

Biological Weapon

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Biological Weapon, Biological Toxin, Bioterrorism

  • Types
  • CDC Category A: High public health impact
  1. Characteristics
    1. Easily disseminated
    2. High morbidity and mortality rates
    3. Causes widespread fear and disruption
    4. Requires greatest preparation and surveillance
  2. Viral Agents
    1. Smallpox (Variola major)
    2. Filovirus hemorrhagic fever agents
      1. Ebola (Ebola Virus)
      2. Marburg (Marburg Virus)
    3. Arenavirus hemorrhagic fever agents
      1. Lassa Fever (Lassa Virus)
      2. Bolivian hemorrhagic fever (Machupo Virus)
      3. Argentine hemorrhagic fever (Junin Virus)
  3. Bacterial Agents
    1. Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis)
    2. Plague (Yersinia pestis)
    3. Tularemia (Francisella tularensis)
  4. Preformed Biological Toxins
    1. Botulism (Clostridium botulinum Toxin)
  • Types
  • CDC Category B: Moderate public health impact
  1. Characteristics
    1. Moderately easy to disseminate
    2. Moerate morbidity and low mortality rates
    3. Causes widespread fear and disruption
    4. Requires specialized diagnostic testing and disease surveillance
  2. Viral Agents
    1. Alphaviruses
      1. Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE)
      2. Eastern Equine Encephalitis
      3. Western Equine Encephalitis
  3. Bacterial Agents
    1. Q Fever (Coxiella burnetti)
    2. Brucellosis (Brucella)
    3. Glanders (Burkholderia mallei)
  4. Preformed Biological Toxins
    1. Ricin (Ricinus communis or Castor oil extract)
    2. Epsilon toxin (Clostridium perfringes)
    3. T-2 Mycotoxin
    4. Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B (SEB)
  • Types
  • CDC Category C: Emerging risks
  1. Characteristics
    1. Emerging agents with a potential for mass dissemination
    2. Potentially high morbidity and mortality rates
  2. Viral Agents
    1. Nipah Virus
    2. Hanta Virus
    3. Tickborne hemorrhagic fever viruses
    4. Tickborne Encephalitis viruses
    5. Yellow Fever (Yellow Fever virus)
  3. Bacterial Agents
    1. Multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis
  • Signs
  • Red Flags suggestive of Biological Weapon exposure
  1. Single case of an uncommon or rare disease (e.g. Smallpox)
  2. Uncommon disease presentation (season or geographic region), population (e.g. age cohort) or vector (route of exposure)
  3. Severe disease with high infectivity
  4. Large acute patient cohort with similar symptoms or same disease
  5. Unusual clinical presentation of symptoms and signs, or atypical response to standard treatments
  6. Cluster of unexplained deaths in humans or animals
  • Resources
  1. CDC Emergency Preparedness - Bioterrorism
    1. http://emergency.cdc.gov/bioterrorism/index.asp
  • References
  1. Seeyave (2015) Crit Dec Emerg Med 29(5): 13-21