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Bioterrorism Agents/Diseases

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Category A


The U.S. public health system and primary healthcare providers must be prepared to address various biological agents, including pathogens that are rarely seen in the United States. High-priority agents include organisms that pose a risk to national security because they

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


Category B


Second highest priority agents include those that

  • are moderately easy to disseminate;
  • result in moderate morbidity rates and low mortality rates; and
  • require specific enhancements of CDC’s diagnostic capacity and enhanced disease surveillance.


Category C


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; and
  • potential for high morbidity and mortality rates and major health impact.