Biological agents are organisms or toxins that can kill or incapacitate people, livestock and crops. A biological attack is the deliberate release of germs or other biological substances that can make you sick.
- Biothreats, or biologic threats, can arise from the misuse of bacteria, viruses or toxins. Examples include nerve gases such as sarin, and anthrax spores.
- Biological agents can be intentionally dispersed by spraying them into the air, by infecting animals that carry the disease to humans, or by contaminating food and water.
An appropriate response depends upon rapid identification of the agent and ready availability of an antidote or vaccine that can neutralize the biothreat.