DPH: Biological Emergencies

Biological Emergencies

 
Bacteria, viruses, and poisons cause biological emergencies. They can be sprayed into the air, used to contaminate (poison) food, and put into drinking water. Some types can also be spread by person-to-person contact. A biological emergency can happen by accident or when germs or other biological hazards are released on purpose to make people sick. How to protect yourself depends on the type of germs. Some germs, like anthrax, can’t be passed on by someone who has it. Other germs, like smallpox, can be passed from one person to another. If that happens, people who have gotten sick might have to be isolated. People who are exposed to the germs might have to be quarantined.

WHAT DO “QUARANTINE” AND “ISOLATION” MEAN?

To help stop disease from spreading, you might be put into quarantine or isolation. QUARANTINE means that you are not sick, but are kept away from other people because you may have been exposed to an infectious or contagious disease. ISOLATION is when you are kept away from other people because you are sick. These are common during a biological emergency. You can also do these things on your own, even if you are not told to, to help stop the spread of disease.

BEFORE A BIOLOGICAL EMERGENCY HAPPENS:
  • Be sure you have your emergency supply kit ready.

WHEN A BIOLOGICAL EMERGENCY HAPPENS:

  • Check local TV and radio stations and the Internet for official instructions. They will tell you how to know if you or a family member has gotten sick, where to go for medical help and whether or not they are giving out medicines to help you.
  • Always do what doctors and officials tell you to do.
  • There may be long lines of people waiting for medications, vaccine or medical care, so you may have to be patient.
  • If the illness can be passed from person to person, people who have been exposed may have to be quarantined.
  • EVERYONE should practice good hygiene and cleanliness to avoid spreading germs.

AFTER A BIOLOGICAL EMERGENCY:

  • Check local TV and radio stations and the Internet for official news, information and instructions.
Connecticut is divided into public health areas so it's easier to give out medicines during an emergency. If an emergency happens, state and local officials will tell you when and where to go for help through your TV and radio. To find out which local health department is responsible for getting you and your family medicine or vaccinations in a biological emergency, go to www.ct.gov/dph/mda.

POSSIBLE TYPES OF BIOLOGICAL EMERGENCIES:

If a biological emergency happens, officials may not be able to tell you what to do right away. It might take time for them to figure out exactly what the illness is, how it should be treated, and who is in danger. You should check local TV and radio stations and the Internet for official news following the emergency so you know:

  • How dangerous it is.
  • What illness you might get.
  • Where to get medicines if you have to.
  • Where to go for medical help or shelter.
 




Content Last Modified on 8/9/2013 2:27:40 PM