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Volume 8, Number 2—February 2002

Conference Summary

Public Health Assessment of Potential Biological Terrorism Agents

Lisa D. RotzComments to Author , Ali S. Khan, Scott R. Lillibridge, Stephen M. Ostroff, and James M. Hughes
Author affiliations: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA;

Main Article

Table 2

Criteria and weightinga used to evaluate potential biological threat agents

Disease Public health impact Dissemination
potential Public
perception Special preparation Category
Disease Death P-Db P - Pc
Smallpox + ++ + +++ +++ +++ A
Anthrax ++ +++ +++ 0 +++ +++ A
Plagued ++ +++ ++ ++ ++ +++ A
Botulism ++ +++ ++ 0 ++ +++ A
Tularemia ++ ++ ++ 0 + +++ A
VHFe ++ +++ + + +++ ++ A
VEf ++ + + 0 ++ ++ B
Q Fever + + ++ 0 + ++ B
Brucellosis + + ++ 0 + ++ B
Glanders ++ +++ ++ 0 0 ++ B
Melioidosis + + ++ 0 0 ++ B
Psittacosis + + ++ 0 0 + B
Ricin toxin ++ ++ ++ 0 0 ++ B
Typhus + + ++ 0 0 + B
Cholerag + + ++ +/- +++ + B
Shigellosisg + + ++ + + + B

aAgents were ranked from highest threat (+++) to lowest (0).
bPotential for production and dissemination in quantities that would affect a large population, based on availability, BSL requirements, most effective route of infection, and environmental stability.
cPerson-to-person transmissibility.
dPneumonic plague.
eViral hemorrhagic fevers due to Filoviruses (Ebola, Marburg) or Arenaviruses (e.g., Lassa, Machupo).
fViral encephalitis.
gExamples of food- and waterborne diseases.

Main Article

Footnote: Participants are listed in Acknowledgments.

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