This review on Category A bioweapons is intended to help otolaryngologists (1) understand the concepts of bioterrorism, (2) identify a bioterrorism attack, and (3) recognize specific otolaryngologic symptoms and signs of Category A bioweapons.
PubMed and Medline databases.
Review of current literature regarding Category A agents of biological warfare and their relationships to otolaryngology was performed using PubMed, Medline, and articles written by experts in the field of bioterrorism. Each Category A agent was paired with the term otolaryngology and then paired with epistaxis, sinusitis, airway obstruction, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, hearing loss, otitis media, and lymphadenopathy individually. For the latest accepted treatment and diagnostic strategies, bioterrorism was searched with filters for human studies, English language, and the past 5 years. Titles, abstracts, and papers were read for relevancy.
While the use of bioweapons initially leads to nonspecific symptoms, a high index of suspicion and clustering of abnormal pathology will often lead the astute physician to the correct diagnosis of bioweapons. Some disease presentations of Category A agents (anthrax, smallpox, tularemia, botulism, plague, hemorrhagic fever) will involve the realm of otolaryngology( Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist).
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:
The head and neck manifestations of a Category A bioweapon attack will require knowledgeable otolaryngologists for prompt diagnosis, treatment, and notification of public authorities. This will help decrease the morbidity and mortality of any potential bioterrorism attack.
© American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Foundation 2014.
Category A agents; anthrax; bioterrorism; bioweapons; botulism; hemorrhagic fevers; plague; smallpox; tularemia