Even though the threats of bioterrorism are not considered to be significant, the U.S. authorities develop strategies helping to address anthrax, botulism, and smallpox. All of them belong to the first category of bioterrorism diseases, which means that Bacillus anthracis, Clostridium botulinum, and variola major are extremely easy to disseminate (CDC, 2017). Variola virus that causes smallpox is transmitted through air, whereas the agents of botulism and anthrax are primarily disseminated through contacts with infected animals or food (CDC, 2017). Therefore, numerous methods can be used by bioterrorists to increase the incidence of these diseases.
The signs and symptoms of the three conditions greatly vary since they affect different systems of the body. Being a rare condition, anthrax can manifest itself in various ways depending on the route of transmission; its symptoms can resemble infections after insect bites, gastrointestinal infections, and influenza (CDC, 2017). The symptoms of botulism include significant problems with eyesight, respiratory system, speech, and general weakness.
The signs of smallpox are the combination of flu-like symptoms, eyesight problems, and severe skin issues (CDC, 2017). As for prevalence and incidence, smallpox and anthrax are relatively rare if compared to botulism given that the latter is related to improper food handling and preservation (CDC, 2017). In terms of treatment, all diseases are prevented with the help of vaccines and recommendations concerning food preparation, contacts with animals, and animal vaccination.
The chosen diseases are quite different in relation to their impact on the population. The primary differences relate to the risks of death that are the largest for people with anthrax and the lowest for botulism patients (CDC, 2017). Taking into account the importance of prevention recommendations and vaccination, community health nurses play a significant role in addressing the threats of epidemics. For example, they can actively participate in the dissemination of education materials and teach people about the principles of self-care peculiar to these diseases.
CDC. (2017). Bioterrorism agents/diseases. Web.