The U.S. public health system and primary healthcare providers must be prepared to address various biological agents, including pathogens that are rarely seen in the United States.
High-priority agents include organisms that pose a risk to national security because they can be easily disseminated or transmitted from person to a person; result in high mortality rates and have the potential for major public health impact; might cause public panic and social disruption; and require special action for public health preparedness.
Second highest priority agents include those that are moderately easy to disseminate, result in moderate morbidity rates and low mortality rates; and require specific enhancements of CDC’s diagnostic capacity and enhanced disease surveillance.
Water safety threats (e.g., Vibrio cholerae, Cryptosporidium parvum)
Third highest priority agents include emerging pathogens that could be engineered for mass dissemination in the future because of availability; ease of production and dissemination; and potential for high morbidity and mortality rates and major health impact. These pathogens include emerging infectious diseases such as Nipah virus and hantavirus.
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