Polk County Health Department

Bioterrorism Agents/Diseases

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says: 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 (CDC.gov).

The following fact sheets contain information on possible bioterrorism agents:

Contact Us

Phone: (515)-286-3798
Fax: (515)-286-2033
Toll free: 866-209-1300
Email:
healthdept@polkcountyiowa.gov


Address: 1907, Carpenter Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314