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Bioterrorism Agents/Diseases

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Category A

Definition

The U.S. public health system and primary healthcare providers must be prepared to address various biological agents, including pathogens that are rarely seen in the United States. High-priority agents include organisms that pose a risk to national security because they

  • can be easily disseminated or transmitted from person to person;
  • result in high mortality rates and have the potential for major public health impact;
  • might cause public panic and social disruption; and
  • require special action for public health preparedness.

Agents/Diseases

Category B

Definition

Second highest priority agents include those that

  • are moderately easy to disseminate;
  • result in moderate morbidity rates and low mortality rates; and
  • require specific enhancements of CDC's diagnostic capacity and enhanced disease surveillance.

Agents/Diseases

  • Brucellosis (Brucella species)
  • Epsilon toxin of Clostridium perfringens
  • Food safety threats (e.g., Salmonella species, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Shigella)
  • Glanders (Burkholderia mallei)
  • Melioidosis (Burkholderia pseudomallei)
  • Psittacosis (Chlamydia psittaci)
  • Q fever (Coxiella burnetii)
  • Ricin toxin from Ricinus communis (castor beans)
  • Staphylococcal enterotoxin B
  • Typhus fever (Rickettsia prowazekii)
  • Viral encephalitis (alphaviruses [e.g., Venezuelan equine encephalitis, eastern equine encephalitis, western equine encephalitis])
  • Water safety threats (e.g., Vibrio cholerae, Cryptosporidium parvum)

Category C

Definition

Third highest priority agents include emerging pathogens that could be engineered for mass dissemination in the future because of

  • availability;
  • ease of production and dissemination; and
  • potential for high morbidity and mortality rates and major health impact.

Agents

  • Emerging infectious diseases such as Nipah virus and hantavirus
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Preparedness Month 2014

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