Bioterrorism Mid-term Questions
1. What are the 4 criteria of a category A microbe as defined by the CDC?
CDC (2015) defines a bioterrorism attack as a deliberate release of bacteria, viruses, or other agents with the intention of causing illness or death in plants, animals or people. Biological agents are difficult to detect when used and can take up to many days before discovery. Bioterrorism agents are broadly classified into three categories based on a four-point criterion; their ability to be disseminated, the rates of mortality, the actions necessary for public health preparedness, and their ability to cause panic to the public (CDC, 2015). Based on this criterion, they are classified as Category A, B, and C. Based on this criterion, category A agents are considered to be the highest risk agents and are thus given the highest priority when it comes to directing the bio-defense research efforts.
First, they are easily disseminated meaning that they can be easily transmitted from one person to another. Transmission is mainly airborne. Due to their high rate of spreading, category A agents are capable of affecting a large number of people after their release. Second, these agents result in high mortality rates meaning that they can result in many fatalities. As such, they have a huge impact on a nation’s public health system. Third, category A agents usually cause panic among the public and subsequently lead to social disruption. Due to their high risk to the publi…
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