WHO/PAHO Look at Public Health Response to Biological and Chemical Weapons


The World Health Organization has released the second edition of its publication “Health Aspects of Biological and Chemical Weapons,” written to guide member states on preparedness for and response to the deliberate use of biological and chemical weapons. Among the recommendations of the publication:

  • Public health contingency plans addressing a deliberate release of biological or chemical agents against civilian populations should be prepared, consistent with existing plans that address outbreaks of disease, natural disasters, large-scale accidents, etc.
  • Use standard principles of risk management to assess the relative priority that should be accorded to such releases in comparison with other dangers to public health.
  • Strengthen existing public health infrastructure, particularly for public health surveillance and response as a preparedness measure for this type of emergency.

The WHO publication in English can be consulted at www.who.int/csr/delibepidemics/biochemguide/en/index.html.
PAHO has just published the Spanish language edition of this important publication and it is available in full text on our web site www.paho.org/disasters (click on Publications Catalog).


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