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Indiana Department of Homeland Security

IDHS > About IDHS > Get Prepared > Family & Personal Preparedness > Be Informed > Biological Threats Biological Threats

Biological attacks are purposeful releases of germs and other viral or bacterial substances. There may be few or no warning signs before an attack. The most common sign of this attack is when health care workers notice that a larger than normal group of individuals come in with the same symptoms.

Things to Know:

Viral Biological Weapons:
Require a host for them to live. Once infected, there is no cure, only the symptoms can be treated.

Bacterial Biological Weapons:
Weapons that are capable of multiplying and surviving on their own. They can be treated with antibiotics if caught early enough.

Biological Release Safety:

  • If there was release in the area, get away immediately.
  • Cover mouth and nose with multiple layers of fabric.
  • Cover any open cuts.
  • Wash with lots of soap and water.
  • Check TV, radio, or Internet to determine what steps to take.
  • If you become ill, alert a hospital that you may have been exposed and follow hospital instructions.

If Exposed:

  • Follow instructions of doctors and public health officials.
  • You will probably be quarantined until health officials determine if it is contagious and what the threat is.
  • If you think you have been exposed to a biological emergency, check TV, radio or Internet to determine if symptoms match the ones given. If they do, head to the hospital.