Communicable Disease & Bioterrorism

Bioterrorism is the overt or covert dispensing of disease for the purpose of causing death or disease. Biological terrorism agents include both living microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, and parasites) and toxins (chemicals) produced by microoraganisms, plants, or animals.

Bioterrorism is easy to accomplish but difficult to trace because: small amounts can have devastating effects, agents are invisible, odorless, and tasteless, agents are easy to obtain and difficult to detect, civilian populations are unprotected, and onset is delayed.

Public Health has a critical role in bioterrorism preparedness and response that includes surveillance and early detection, laboratory support for disease confirmation, and epidemiology to determine exposure location and affected persons.

Bioterrorism threats include Anthrax, Botulism, Smallpox, Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (VHF), Plague, and Tularemia.

Report a suspected outbreak or unusual illness to:

Fort Bend County Health & Human Services: 281-342-6414

Texas Department of Health & Human Services: 800-705-8868