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;
- require special action for public health preparedness.
Category A Diseases/Agents
- Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (filoviruses [e.g., Ebola, Marburg] and arenaviruses
Category B Diseases/Agents
- Are moderately easy to disseminate
- Result in moderate morbidity rates and low mortality rates
- Difficult to detect under current methods
Category B Biological Agents include:
- Epsilon Toxin
- Food Safety Threats (i.e. Salmonella)
- Q Fever
- Staphylococcal B
- Typus Fever
- Viral Encephalitis
- Water Safety Threats
Sources for the FAQs and definitions were the CDC and JAMA Consensus Statement.