The initial goals of the environmental assessment and response
following the release of plague bacteria during a bioterrorism
event are to evaluate human plague risks associated with:
Exposure to infected animals.
Exposure to infectious fleas.
Exposure to other materials, such as contaminated surfaces,
soils, and water supplies.
It is assumed that sampling of these materials will be limited
because plague bacteria survive poorly in external environments
and are unlikely to pose more than short-term risks for humans.
If this assumption proves invalid, more intensive sampling of
non-host, non-vector environments will have to be done.