Bioterrorism And Anthrax

Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack and the following exposure of a number of persons to anthrax spores, the print media, television, and the Internet had countless articles devoted to these topics. Rather than writing yet another article to add to the mix, the CVMA elected to compile a list of websites that have what we think are credible articles with accurate information. In some cases, these sites have links to other sites of interest.

Anthrax Fact Sheet – Written in the CVMA office and can be printed and used as a client hand out. This article is the fourth in a series intended to help answer questions that clients may ask veterinary facility personnel.

Roles veterinarians play in bioterrorism. This article, written by veterinarians from the Veterinary Public Health Section (VPHS), California Department of Health Services and the Animal Health Branch (AHB), California Department of Food and Agriculture, speaks of the importance of surveillance and prompt reporting of possible bioterrorism events.

The Fed/OSHA site provides good information on anthrax. Of particular interest is the eTool on Anthrax in the Workplace. This tool provides suggestions on mail-handling procedures designed to minimize possible exposure to anthrax and divides risk into three levels or zones. Most veterinary facilities will fall into the lowest (Green) zone.

AVMA Biosecurity Updates – Anthrax is featured with a fact sheet, a FAQ section, and a zoonosis update. In addition, zoonosis updates are provided for bubonic plagues, Q fever, and tularemia.

Tularemia as a Biological Weapon June 6, 2001; Botulinum Toxin as a Biological Weapon February 28, 2001; Plague as a Biological Weapon May 3, 2000; Anthrax as a Biological Weapon May 12, 1999; and Smallpox as a Biological Weapon June 9, 1999. These are detailed reports prepared using a “consensus process” with a working group that included 20 to 25 representatives from major academic medical centers and research, government, military, public health, and emergency management institutions and agencies.

California Department of Health Services – Emergency Preparedness Office

CDC website on Emergency Preparedness and Response – Features information on anthrax, botulism, pneumonic plague, and smallpox

Department of Homeland Security site devoted to anthrax and a vaccine immunization program.

If you have comments or questions about this material, please send a note to Grant Miller, DVM at

Updated January 2017

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