Terrorism using biologic agents. Biological diseases and the agents that might be used for terrorism have been listed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC). The list includes a sizable number of "select agents" — potential weapons whose transfer in the scientific and medical communities is regulated to keep them out of unfriendly hands. These "select agents" are very varied. They comprise viruses, bacteria, rickettsiae (micro-organisms that have traits common to both bacteria and viruses), fungi and biological toxins. The CDC has classified all of these "select agents" according to the degree of danger each agent is felt to pose into one of three categories: {{}}Category A Biological Disease: -- The U.S. public health system and primary health-care providers must be prepared to address varied 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 person-to-person; cause high mortality, with potential for major public health impact; might cause public panic and social disruption; and require special action for public health preparedness. These agents/diseases include: {{}}Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) Clostridium botulinum toxin (botulism) Yersinia pestis (the plague) Variola major (smallpox) Tularemia (Francisella tularensis) Hemorrhagic fever due to: {{}}Ebola virus Marburg virus   Category B Biological Disease: -- Second highest priority agent include those that are moderately easy to disseminate; cause moderate morbidity and low mortality; and require specific enhancements of CDC's diagnostic capacity and enhanced disease surveillance. These agents/diseases include: {{}}Q fever (Coxiella burnetii) Brucellosis (undulant fever) Glanders (Burkholderia mallei) Ricin toxin (from the castor bean Ricinus communis) Epsilon toxin of Clostridium perfringens (the gas gangrene bacillus) Staphylococcus enterotoxin B (staph toxin)

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bio·ter·ror·ism -'ter-ər-.iz-əm n terrorism involving the use of biological weapons
bio·ter·ror·ist -ər-əst adj or n

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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