Concern regarding the use of biological agents (bacteria, viruses, or toxins) as tools of warfare or terrorism has led to measures to deter their use or, failing that, to deal with the consequences. Unlike chemical agents, which typically lead to severe disease syndromes within minutes at the site of exposure, diseases resulting from biological agents have incubation periods of days. Rather than a paramedic, it will likely be a physician who is first faced with evidence of the results of a biological attack. Provided here is an updated primer on 11 classic BW and potential terrorist agents to increase the likelihood of their being considered in a differential diagnosis. Although the resultant diseases are rarely seen in many countries today, accepted diagnostic and epidemiologic principles apply; if the cause is identified quickly, appropriate therapy can be initiated and the impact of a terrorist attack greatly reduced.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||39|
|Journal||Clinics in Laboratory Medicine|
|State||Published - Oct 1 2001|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical