Biological threats come from bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins, or other biological substance that cause infectious diseases that can kill or incapacitate humans, animals, and plants.
These threats can occur because of an intentional release of biological substances in a terrorist attack, failure to dispose of infectious waste properly, failure to follow procedures for infection control, such asfrequent hand washing, or failure to receive proper immunizations.
Diseases caused by biological substances can be spread by several routes:
- Aerosols – biological substances are dispersed into the air, forming a fine mist that may drift for miles. Inhaling the substance may cause disease in people or animals.
- Animals – some diseases are spread by insects and animals, such as fleas, mice, flies, mosquitoes, and livestock.
- Food and water contamination – some diseases are spread in food and water supplies. Most germs can be killed, and toxins deactivated, by cooking food and boiling water. Most common germs are killed by boiling water for one minute, but some take longer to die.
- Person-to-person – some diseases, such as smallpox, plague, and influenza, are spread through personal contact, such as touching an infected person. For H1N1 INFLUENZA UPDATES click here
- Blood-borne – some diseases, such as Hepatitis B and AIDS, are transmitted by coming into contact with an infected person’s blood or bodily fluids.
These Web sites give you some information about preventing, preparing for, and responding to biological incidents:
Note: The following links are provided as a resource only. The content provided was not prepared by the Pittsburgh Regional Business Coalition for Homeland Security (PRBCHS), and is not necessarily endorsed by PRBCHS.