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David M. Sander, Ph.D. (david.sander@virology.net )

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Biological Warfare Diseases & Agents Listing

Category A

  • Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis)
  • Botulism (Clostridium botulinum toxin)
  • Plague (Yersinia pestis)
  • Smallpox (variola major)
  • Tularemia (Francisella tularensis)
  • Viral hemorrhagic fevers (filoviruses [e.g., Ebola, Marburg] and arenaviruses [e.g., Lassa, Machupo])

Category B

  • Multstuberculosis
  • Nipah virus
  • Tickborne encephalis ne encephalitis])
  • 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

  • Hantaviruses
  • Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis
  • Nipah virus
  • Tickborne encephalitis viruses
  • Tickborne hemorrhagic fever viruses
  • Yellow fever

Category Descriptions

    Category A Diseases/Agents
    The U.S. public health system and primary healthcare providers must be prepared to a ddress varied biological agents, including pathogens that are rarely seen in the United States. High-priority agents include organisms that pose a risk to national security becau

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

    Category B Diseases/Agents
    Second highest priority agents include those that:

    • are moderately easy to disseminate
    • cause moderate morbidity and low mortality
    • require specific enhancements of CDC's diagnostic capacity and enhanced disease surveillance

    Category C Diseases/Agents
    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
    • potential for high morbidity and mortality and major health impact.


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