The CDC Category A agents are considered the highest priority based on the transmission, morbidity and mortality rates, and the potential public health impact. Anthrax, botulism toxin, plague, smallpox, tularemia and viral hemorrhagic fevers are the highest risk for use in a bioterrorism attack.
Category A Diseases/Agents (CDC)
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.
- Mustard gas
- sarin (GB)
- soman (GD)
Forms of chemical agents include: blood agents, which includes cyanide, arsine, cyanogens chloride and hydrogen chloride; choking agents, which includes chlorine, diphosgene and phosgene; other nerve agents; and vesicants, which includes distilled mustard, ethyldichloroarsine, mustard-lewisite mixture and forms of nitrogen mustard.
- Atomic bombs
- Hydrogen bombs
- Nuclear warheads
A dirty bomb is a bomb made of conventional explosives, designed to spread over a wide area. This type of bomb is less devastating than nuclear devices, but easier to create.
An E-Bomb is “an electromagnetic bomb that produces a high-power flash of radio waves or microwaves that destroys electronic circuitry. It causes mass disruption without destroying life or property. This type of bomb could freeze transportation systems, wreck communication systems, and destroy computer networks.