Bay County Building
515 Center Avenue
Bay City, Michigan 48708-5941

Bioterrorism Agents

Bioterrorism agents are seperated into three categories -- A, B, or C -- depending on how easily they can be spread and the severity of illness or death they cause.

  • Category A agents are considered the highest risk and the highest priority.
  • Category B agents are the second highest priority.
  • Category C agents are the third highest priority and include emerging pathogens that could be engineered for mass spread in the future.

Category A agents include organisms and toxins that pose the highest risk to the public and national security for the following reasons:

  • They can be easily spread or transmitted from person to person.
  • They result in high death rates and have the potential for major public health impact.
  • They could cause extreme concern and social disruption.
  • They require special action for public health preparedness.

This section includes all Category A bioterrorism agents:

  • Anthrax
  • Botulism
  • Pneumonic Plague
  • Smallpox
  • Tularemia
  • Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (VHF)

For information on Category B agents (second priority and naturally occurring infectious diseases) and category C agents (third priority and emerging infectious diseases), please visit the Centers For Disease Control's website at