Bioterrorism refers to the use of biological agents with the intent to cause panic, illness, or death. There are biological agents in nature, but they can be changed artificially in order to make them more effective. There are many methods of spreading biological agents. Biodefense is defense against bioterrorism, often in the form of a vaccine or medicine.
There are three categories of biological agents. The first is category A, the highest priority agents. Biological agents in category A pose a high risk to national security. These include anthrax and smallpox. The second, category B, includes biological agents such as brucellosis and melioidosis. These are a risk to national security. Category C, the third, includes emerging diseases that could be a risk in the future, such as hantavirus.
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