Disaster Preparedness: Biological Threats and Treatment Options

Navaneeth Narayanan, Clifton R. Lacy, Joseph E. Cruz, Meghan Nahass, Jonathan Karp, Joseph A. Barone, Evelyn R. Hermes-DeSantis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Biological disasters can be natural, accidental, or intentional. Biological threats have made a lasting impact on civilization. This review focuses on agents of clinical significance, bioterrorism, and national security, specifically Category A agents (anthrax, botulism, plague, tularemia, and smallpox), as well as briefly discusses other naturally emerging infections of public health significance, Ebola virus (also a Category A agent) and Zika virus. The role of pharmacists in disaster preparedness and disaster response is multifaceted and important. Their expertise includes clinical knowledge, which can aid in drug information consultation, patient-specific treatment decision making, and development of local treatment plans. To fulfill this role, pharmacists must have a comprehensive understanding of medical countermeasures for these significant biological threats across all health care settings. New and reemerging infectious disease threats will continue to challenge the world. Pharmacists will be at the forefront of preparedness and response, sharing knowledge and clinical expertise with responders, official decision makers, and the general public.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-234
Number of pages18
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology (medical)


  • biological disasters
  • biological threats
  • bioterrorism
  • emerging infections
  • infectious diseases


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