Introduction to Weapons of Mass Destruction (Awareness level)

Bioterrorism, Chemical & Radiation Emergencies
Online Course
45 minutes
Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins PERLC

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An awareness-level understanding of weapons of mass destruction is essential for addressing the public health readiness needs of the post-9/11 world.

Learning Objectives: 
  • Explain the difference between chemical, biological, and radiological weapons of mass destruction
  • Describe the different types of chemical weapons: Lethal vs. incapacitating/riot control
  • industrial agents and warfare agents
  • blood, nerve, choking, blister agents
  • Describe how (generally) these chemical agents work
  • List the steps in decontamination after a chemical weapon attack
  • Explain the differences between the various levels of PPE
  • Describe the characteristics of the Category A, B, and C biological weapons
  • Define the various aspects of biological weapon infection: Incubation, diagnosis, communicability, post-exposure prophylaxis, treatment, lethality, and possbility of vaccination
  • Describe the differences between particulate vs. electromagnetic radiation and ionizing vs non-ionizing radiation
  • Discuss potential responses to radiological attack
  • Describe the proper steps in decontamination after a radiological weapon attack
PHEP Capabilities: 
Responder Safety and Health