Bioterrorism can be described as the use, or threatened use of, biological agents to promote or spread fear or intimidation upon an individual, a specific group, or the population as a whole for financial, ideological, personal, political, or religious purposes. These biological agent, with the exception of the smallpox virus, are typically found in nature in various parts of the world. However, they may be weaponized to enhance their virulence in humans and make them resistant to vaccines and antibiotics.
Bioterrorism in Arizona
Arizona has engaged in a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control to help develop bioterrorism programs within the Arizona Department of Health Services. This program involves a triad of activities.
To increase the ADHS Laboratory's ability to rapidly diagnose potential bioterrorism events.
To establish rapid communication between ADHS and local health departments.
To evacuate and bolster the current disease surveillance systems, in order to rapidly detect and respond to incidence of disease in Arizona potentially related to bioterrorism.