A biological attack is the deliberate release of germs or other biological substances.
Before a Biological Attack
- Consider installing a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter in your furnace return duct. These filters remove particles in the 0.3 to 10 micron range and will filter out most biological agents that may enter your house. If you do not have a central heating or cooling system, a stand-alone portable HEPA filter can be used.
During a Biological Attack
- 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 learn of the danger through an emergency radio or TV broadcast, or some other signal used in your community. You might get a telephone call or emergency response workers may come to your door.
- Anticipate that public health officials may not immediately be able to provide information on what you should do. It will take time to determine exactly what the illness is, how it should be treated and who is in danger.
- If a family member becomes sick, it is important to be suspicious.
- Do not assume, however, that you should go to a hospital emergency room or that any illness is the result of the biological attack. Symptoms of many common illnesses may overlap.
- Use common sense, practice good hygiene and cleanliness to avoid spreading germs, and seek medical advice.
- Consider 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 have been exposed to a biological agent, remove and bag your clothes and personal items. Follow official instructions for disposal of contaminated items. Wash yourself with soap and water and put on clean clothes. Contact authorities and seek medical assistance. You may be advised to stay away from others or even quarantined.