A biological incident occurs with an accidental or intentional (bioterrorism) release of a biological agent. These agents may be relatively harmless or may cause serious illness and/or death. Biological agents can affect humans, pets, livestock, and/or the environment.
Unlike an explosion, a biological incident may happen secretly and may not be easy to detect.
Most people will learn about a biological or bioterrorism incident through information they hear or read in the news or social media.
What to do to protect yourself and your family:
Should a biological incident occur near you, follow the directions of local emergency management and public health officials.
Watch TV, listen to the radio, or check the internet for official news, including the following:
- What group or area the authorities consider to be in danger
- The signs and symptoms of the disease
- Information on the distribution of medications or vaccines, including the location and who should get them
- Where to seek emergency medical care if you become sick
Pay attention to your own health and that of your family just as you do now. In addition:
- Practice good hygiene and cleanliness to avoid spreading germs.
- Report any unusual symptoms or illnesses right away to your doctor and local public health department.