Updated, detailed information on three zoonotic diseases—plague, tularemia, and Q fever—can now be found by going to Backgrounders on the AVMA Web site.
The backgrounders address how each disease relates to bioterrorism. Aerosolization of Yersinia pestis is of most concern when considering the use of plague as a biological weapon. The bacterium Francisella tularensis, which causes tularemia, is classified as a category A agent of bioterrorism. And Coxiella burnetii, which causes Q fever, is classified as a category B agent of bioterrorism.
The backgrounders also provide information on each disease's causative agent, natural distribution, clinical signs, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and infection control. The backgrounders will be updated regularly.