A biological attack is the deliberate release of germs or other biological substances that can make you sick.
If There is a Biological Threat
Unlike an explosion, a biological attack may or may not be immediately obvious. While you may see actual signs of a biological attack, it is more likely that local health care workers will report a pattern of unusual illness or there will be a wave of sick people seeking emergency medical attention. You will probably learn of the danger through an emergency radio or TV broadcast, or through your NOAA All-Hazards Radio.
In the event of a biological attack, it will take time for public health officials to determine exactly what the illness is, how it should be treated, and who is in danger. You should watch TV, listen to the radio, or check the Internet for official news including the following:
- Are you in the group or area authorities consider to be in danger?
- What are the signs and symptoms of the disease?
- Are medications or vaccines being distributed?
- Where? Who should get them?
- Where should you seek emergency medical care if you become sick?
During a declared biological emergency:
- Use common sense, practice good hygiene and cleanliness to avoid spreading germs, and seek medical advice.
- Determine if you are in the group or area authorities believe to be in danger.
- If your symptoms match those described and you are in the group considered at risk, immediately seek emergency medical attention.
If you are potentially exposed:
- Follow the instructions of doctors and other public health officials.
- If the disease is contagious, expect to receive medical evaluation and treatment. You may be advised to stay away from others or even be quarantined.
- For non-contagious diseases, expect to receive medical evaluation and treatment.
If you become aware of an unusual and suspicious substance nearby:
- Quickly get away.
- Protect yourself. Cover your mouth and nose with layers of fabric that can filter the air but still allow breathing, such as two to three layers of cotton t-shirt fabric, handkerchiefs or towesl. If fabric isn't available, several layers of tissue or paper towels may help.
- Wash with soap and water.
- Contact authorities.
- Watch TV, listen to the radio, or check the Internet for official news and information including what the signs and symptoms of the disease are, if medications or vaccinations are being distributed and where you should seek medical attention if you become sick.
- If you become sick seek emergency medical attention.
Information courtesy of ReadyAmerica.