Skip to main content

The Threat of Biological Terrorism: A Public Health and Infection Control Reality

  • Robert J. Leggiadro (a1)

Bioterrorism is an emerging public health and infection control threat. Potential biological agents include smallpox, anthrax, plague, tularemia, botulinum toxin, brucellosis, Q fever, viral encephalitis, hemorrhagic fever, and staphylococcal enterotoxin B. An understanding of the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and management of the more likely candidate agents is critical to limiting morbidity and mortality from a biological event. Effective response requires an increased index of suspicion for unusual diseases or syndromes, with prompt reporting to health authorities to facilitate recognition of an outbreak and subsequent intervention. Hospital epidemiology programs will play a crucial role in this effort.

Corresponding author
Department of Pediatrics, Sisters of Charity Medical Center, 355 Bard Ave, Staten Island, NY 10310
Hide All
1.Henderson DA. Bioterrorism as a public health threat. Emerg Infect Dis 1998;4:488492.
2.McDade JE, Franz D. Bioterrorism as a public health threat. Emerg Infect Dis 1998;4:493494.
3.Franz DR, Jahrling PB, Friedlander AM, McClain DJ, Hoover DL, Bryne WRet al. Clinical recognition and management of patients exposed to biological warfare agents. JAMA 1997;278:399411.
4.Christopher GW, Cieslak TJ, Pavlin JAEitzen EM Jr. Biological warfare. A historical perspective. JAMA 1997;278:412417.
5.Henderson DAInglesby TV, Bartlett JG, Ascher MS, Eitzen E, Jahrling PB, et al. Smallpox as a biological weapon: medical and public health management. Working Group on Civilian Biodefense. JAMA 1999;281:21272137.
6.LaForce FM. Anthrax. Clin Infect Dis 1994;19:10091014.
7.Pile JC, Malone JD, Eitzen EM, Friedlander AM. Anthrax as a potential biological warfare agent. Arch Intern Med 1998;158:429434.
8.Inglesby TV, Henderson DA, Bartlett JG, Ascher MS, Eitzen E, Friedlander AM, et al. Anthrax as a biological weapon: medical and public health management. Working Group on Civilian Biodefense. JAMA 1999;281:17351745.
9.Meselson M, Guillemin J, Hugh-Jones M, Langmuir A, Popova I, Shelokov A, et al. The Sverdlovsk anthrax outbreak of 1979. Science 1994;266:12021208.
10.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Bioterrorism alleging use of anthrax and interim guidelines for management—United States, 1998. MMWR 1999;48:6974.
11.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevention of plague: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR 1996;45(RR-14):115.
12.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fatal human plague— Arizona and Colorado, 1996. MMWR 1997;46:617620.
13.Mann JM, Shandler L, Cushing AH. Pediatric plague. Pediatrics 1982;69:762767.
14.Evans ME, Gregory DW, Schaffner W, McGee ZA. Tularemia: a 30-year experience with 88 cases. Medicine (Baltimore) 1985;64:251269.
15.Jacobs RF, Narain JP. Tularemia in children. Pediatr Infect Dis 1983;2:487491.
16.Leggiadro RJ. Tetracycline for Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Pediatrics 1991;87:124125.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
  • ISSN: 0899-823X
  • EISSN: 1559-6834
  • URL: /core/journals/infection-control-and-hospital-epidemiology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 4 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 169 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 18th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.