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Deliberate release of zoonotic agents 

Deliberate release of zoonotic agents
Chapter:
Deliberate release of zoonotic agents
Author(s):

Stephen Palmer

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198570028.003.0002
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date: 24 February 2020

Since 9/11 2001, international attention has once again focused on the risks to human and animal health from the deliberate release of infectious or toxic chemical agents. In theory any agent could be used by terrorists and disaffected people, but the most serious risk for infectious agents are mainly zoonotic (Franz et al. 1997). Three modes of exposure may be anticipated, inhalation of powder or spray or dust from explosives, direct contact or inoculation from an explosion, and ingestion. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) list 19 bioterrorism agents or groups of agents of which 14 are zoonotic. In Category A are 6 agents which can be easily disseminated or transmitted from person to person, that result in high mortality rates and have the potential for major public health impact, which might cause public panic and social disruption and which require special action from public health preparedness. Of these 6, four are zoonoses — Anthrax, Plague, Tularaemia and Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers. In Category B, are 12 groups of agents, which are moderately easy to disseminate and cause moderate morbidity. Of these 12 groups, 8 contain zoonoses: Brucellosis, Food Safety threats (e.g. Salmonella, E.coli 0157, Campylobacter), Meliodiosis, Psittacoccosis, Q Fever, Typhus, Viral encephalitis, Water safety threats (e.g. Cryptosporidium).

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