Exposure to biological warfare agents may occur in several ways, the most prominent being aerosol infection, droplet infection, common component infection and via physical contact. These agents may enter the body through the respiratory tract, mucous membranes and through the skin. The mechanism of exposure and the route of entry of the specific agent will dictate the appropriate protection required. Available protective equipment include respiratory protective devices, full face protective masks and surgical masks for respiratory protection, battle dress overgarments, protective gloves and overboots for skin protection. Full protection is needed when the agent has not been identified. When the biological agent is known, the protective measures should be determined by its characteristics. Protection may include several levels of precautions: standard risk, aerosol infection, droplet infection and contact infection. This paper describes the routes of exposure to biological warfare agents, the available protective equipment and the precautions needed when treating biowarfare casualties.
|Pages (from-to)||105-110, 118|
|Volume||141 Spec No|
|State||Published - May 2002|