Confronting bioterrorism: Physicians on the front line

Prathibha Varkey, Gregory A. Poland, Franklin R. Cockerill, Thomas F. Smith, Philip T. Hagen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations


The events surrounding September 11, 2001, and its aftermath have compelled the public health and medical community to face the hitherto unfamiliar reality of bioterrorism. Physicians and public health personnel are frontline soldiers in this new form of warfare. This article provides a general overview of the pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and management of patients infected with the 6 highest priority agents that could potentially be used in bioterrorism. The diseases discussed include anthrax, smallpox, tularemia, plague, botulism, and viral hemorrhagic fevers. Despite the unpredictable nature of bioterrorism, disaster preparedness and knowledge of essential diagnostic and epidemiological principles can contribute substantially toward combating this new threat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)661-672
Number of pages12
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Varkey, P., Poland, G. A., Cockerill, F. R., Smith, T. F., & Hagen, P. T. (2002). Confronting bioterrorism: Physicians on the front line. Mayo Clinic proceedings, 77(7), 661-672.