What is Bioterrorism?
A bioterrorism attack is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria,
or other germs (agents) used to cause illness or death in people,
animals, or plants. These agents are typically found in nature,
but it is possible that they could be changed to increase their
ability to cause disease, make them resistant to current medicines,
or to increase their ability to be spread into the environment.
Biological agents can be spread through the air, through water,
or in food. Terrorists may use biological agents because they can
be extremely difficult to detect and do not cause illness for several
hours to several days. Some bioterrorism agents, like the smallpox
virus, can be spread from person to person and some, like anthrax,
can not. For information on which bioterrorism agents can be spread
from person to person, please see the alphabetical list of bioterrorism
Shelter-in-Place in a Radiation Emergency
In the event of a radiation emergency, such as a nuclear power
plant accident or the explosion of a dirty bomb, you may be asked
to stay home and take shelter rather than try to evacuate. This
action is called “sheltering in place.” Because many
radioactive materials rapidly decay and dissipate, staying in your
home for a short time may protect you from exposure to radiation.
The walls of your home may block much of the harmful radiation.
Taking a few simple precautions can help you reduce your exposure
to radiation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has
prepared this fact sheet to help you protect yourself and your family
and to help you prepare a safe and well-stocked shelter.
Log on to www.cdc.gov for information on Preparing a Shelter in
Your Home; Preparing Emergency Supplies; and Tips Before Entering
Additional information on Disaster and Emergency Planning available
at www.health.mo.org; Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services,
including Public Health in the Private Sector; Information for Health
Care Professionals; and how to Stay Informed.