Biohazard Exposure

Biological agents are organisms or toxins that can kill or disable people, livestock and crops. Biological events can either be accidental or intentional. Both types of events can make you sick.

There are three basic groups of biological agents that could either accidentally or intentionally hurt someone: bacteria, viruses and toxins. Biological agents can be spread when they get sprayed into the air, with person-to-person contact, when animals are infected and then interact with people, or when food and water are contaminated.

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Events where you are exposed accidentally or intentionally to biohazards may or may not be immediately obvious. In most cases, 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 would be alerted through an emergency radio or TV broadcast, a telephone call or a home visit from an emergency response worker.

  • Build an Emergency Supply Kit.
  • Make a Family Emergency Plan.
  • Check with your doctor to make sure everyone in your family has up-to-date immunizations.
  • Consider installing a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter in your furnace return duct, which will filter out most biological agents that may enter your house.
  • Check out these CDC web pages to help you make a plan to Get Away, Get It Off, and Get Help

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