- Many biological agents could be used to intentionally harm
people. However, only a few, such as Yersinia pestis,
the bacterium that causes plague, have the ability to cause
large numbers of cases of severe or fatal illness. This health
impact and resulting disruption requires special actions for
medical and public health preparedness.
- Concern about the use of plague as a weapon isn't just hypothetical.
It has been considered for use in warfare since the 14th century
to kill, disable, and instill fear in the enemy. To learn more
about the history of plague as a weapon, you can view the short
video located at the right.