Preparedness in Utah: Epidimiology of Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Incidents

Bioterrorism, Chemical & Radiation Emergencies
Online Course
45 minutes
University of Arizona
Mountain West Preparedness and Emergency Learning Center

Since the terrorist events of 2001, concerns regarding threats of terrorism have increased. Among other issues of disaster preparedness, state and local health departments now also have to consider the preparedness capability of their departments to incidents involving Chemical, Biological, and Radiological (CBR) agents. Incidents both naturally occurring and intentional have the potential to cause great damage to public health and health departments have to be prepared to respond effectively. This module will provide an overview of the different types of incidents that can occur and present an analysis of the varied preparedness and response activities specific for each form of terrorism. It will present epidemiological indicators and strategies that will help public health officials prepare a cohesive response to an incident involving any of these types of agents. The module will also aid public health professionals in defining the public health role throughout the following stages of a disaster: preparedness, response, and recovery.

Learning Objectives: 
  • Describe the importance of surveillance systems in responding to a Chemical, Biological, and Radiological incident
  • Describe the public health role in Chemical, Biological, and Radiological incident preparedness
  • Identify at least three reasons why biological organisms are used for spreading terror
  • Describe the epidemiologic differences between naturally occurring and intentional disease outbreaks
  • Identify epidemiologic indicators of a Chemical, Biological, and Radiological incident
  • Describe the different types of radiological incidents that may occur and the public health role in response
PHEP Capabilities: 
Public Health Surveillance and Epidemiological Investigation