Emergency Central is a collection of disease, drug, and test information including 5-Minute Emergency Medicine Consult, Davis’s Drug, McGraw-Hill Medical’s Diagnosaurus®, Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests, and MEDLINE Journals created for emergency medicine professionals. Explore these free sample topics:
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- Defined as naturally occurring organisms or toxins that are purified and prepared for mass dissemination with intent of causing mass morbidity, mortality, and social disruption.
- Organisms include bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
- Over 400 potential or actualized etiologic agents capable of being used as biologic weapon:
- Characterized by their relatively low cost compared with other weapons of mass destruction (WMD), high potency, and their ability to be delivered in a stealthy manner
- Stealth quality of biologic weapons comes from organism's natural incubation period.
- Easy to conceal and difficult to detect:
- Agents often invisible to naked eye, odorless, and tasteless
- Patients typically present to various health care facilities with host of common complaints, adding to delay in recognition of covert release of biologic weapon.
- Victims of biologic warfare agents are exposed either via direct cutaneous contact with agent, respiratory inhalation of aerosolized agent, or via GI tract after poisoning of food or water source.
- Anthrax: Bacillus anthracis
- Plague: Yersinia pestis
- Cholera: Infection from Vibrio cholerae:
- Presents with severe GI symptoms and rapidly leads to profound dehydration
- Tularemia: Francisella tularensis
- Brucellosis: Organism in the Brucella genus
- Q fever: Coxiella burnetii
- Smallpox: Variola virus
- Viral encephalitides: Members of Alphavirus genus (Venezuelan equine encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, and Western equine encephalitis)
- Viral hemorrhagic fevers: From 4 families of viruses, includes illnesses such as Ebola, Marburg, Lassa, and dengue fever
- Staphylococcal enterotoxin B
- Botulinum toxin