What to do in a Bioterrorism Event
Bioterrorism involves the deliberate use of harmful viruses and bacteria to make people sick. We have seen this with anthrax in the mail. While these types of events are still rare, they can be very dangerous. Although we cannot always prevent them from happening, we can help by reporting strange activity to local officials. If you get news that bioterrorism has taken place where you live or work, or strongly suspect that it has, you should follow these steps:
If you receive any threat of bioterrorism, or see strange activity that you believe may be part of a bioterrorism event, call 911 right away!
If you live or work near the scene of a bioterrorism event that is not in your building, stay where you are, listen for emergency updates, and wait for instructions from emergency workers or police before leaving the area.
If you are right at the scene of a bioterrorism event, get yourself and others far away from the biological agent, and then call 911. Wait in a safe place nearby for emergency workers to arrive. If you later notice signs of biological infection (e.g. severe breathing problems, shock, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, etc.), call 911 right away or call your doctor.
If you see or get a suspicious looking package (e.g., bulky envelopes, unfamiliar or missing return address, heavy or oddly sealed boxes, anything leaking powder or other substance, etc.) do not open, shake, or put your face or bare skin near it. Put it down gently, get yourself and others out of the room, close off the room, and call 911 right away. Wash your hands right away with soap and water. Never touch, taste, sniff or put your eyes near any real or suspected biological agent.