Disciplines: Nursing
Hours: 5 Contact Hours
  • Ehren Ngo, MS
  • Brendan Manning, MPH
Peer Reviewer(s): Erik J. Usher, RN, BS, CEN, CPEN, EMT-P, CFRN
Item#: N1702
Contents: 1 Course Book (108 pages)
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Bioterrorism: The Biology of Threats and Health Impacts

Price $27.95
Item # N1702
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: April 25, 2016

Expiration Date: April 30, 2019

The potential for infectious diseases to spread within dense human populations and become epidemics of major impact has made diseases such as typhus fever, plague, influenza, and dysentery and their causative agents attractive to nations for use as battlefield weapons. In the event of a bioterrorist attack, the scope and impact of an epidemic would depend on a number of factors, including the characteristics of the biological disease agent, the design of the delivery system used for its release and dispersal, the environment into which the attacker released the disease agent, and the speed and effectiveness of the public health and medical response. If a biological agent were released and spread within a population and resulted in the infection of a large number of persons, or if the agent were contagious and person-to-person spread could not be controlled, the result conceivably could be a catastrophic epidemic.

This course focuses on the properties of the most likely biological agents and the associated diseases that could be involved in terrorist acts. A foundational understanding of bacterial, viral, and biological toxins, as well as the principles of disease epidemiology, is necessary to understand the biological agents that are considered our most significant threats. In addition to a review of the characteristics of bacteria and viruses, an in-depth analysis of Category A biological weapons is provided, including their history and significance, biological characteristics, means of transmission, clinical features and presentation, criteria for diagnosis, medical management, and options for prophylaxis. This course is organized to prepare nurses and members of the extended healthcare teams, including public health and law enforcement providers, to recognize and respond to biological terrorism-associated incidents.

Nevada NursesSee N1709 Bioterrorism & the Nurse's Response to Weapons of Mass Destruction, 2nd Ed.for the Bioterrorism course that fulfills your one-time requirement.


Course Objectives

  • Distinguish between key epidemiological terms, including incidence, prevalence, case fatality rate, sporadic, endemic, and epidemic.
  • Describe the nurse’s role in disease control and prevention, as well as be able to differentiate between direct and indirect means of disease transmission.
  • Describe the four components of biological weapons and the characteristic differences between chemical and biological threats.
  • Discuss strategies for preventing, detecting, or mitigating a bioterrorist attack.
  • Differentiate between the three categories of biological agents.
  • Describe the clinical manifestations, approaches to diagnosis, and the prevention and control measures for each of the biological weapons in Category A.


Ehren Ngo, MS, is an assistant professor at Loma Linda University. He has served as the program director for the Bachelor of Science in Emergency Medical Care at the School of Allied Health Professions since 2002, and program director for the post-baccalaureate Certificate in Emergency Preparedness and Response in the School of Public Health from 2009 – 2015. His academic and professional interest is focused on emergency management and the health impacts of disasters, and he has developed and taught courses in violence issues, disasters, WMD, terrorism, and technology in emergency management. Ehren has been a key member of the Critical Event Response Interprofessional Education group, which hosts an annual training for over 400 students from medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and allied health. Ehren previously chaired the University’s Emergency Management Council for nearly a decade and continues to provide consultation for Loma Linda University and Loma Linda University Medical Center on a number of emergency management initiatives. Outside of the University, Ehren has been an active volunteer in mountain search and rescue with over 20 years of experience. Ehren has a B.S. from Loma Linda University in Emergency Medical Care and an M.S. in Emergency Health Services with a concentration in epidemiology and preventive medicine from University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Brendan Manning, MPH, works for HWC Inc. as a contractor to the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Health Affairs, overseeing a biological weapons detection program for a large metropolitan area. Previously he worked as a Regional Disaster Medical Health Specialist in California where he supported pre-hospital and public health emergency response coordination. Brendan assisted in coordinating response to an earthquake and subsequent hospital evacuation, environmental concerns following significant floods, a TB outbreak in a high school, countless multiple casualty incidents (MCI), and shelter operations for wildfire evacuees. Before getting into Public Health, Brendan worked as a Firefighter/EMT in New Hampshire and New York. Brendan has a BS from Ithaca College and an MPH in Global Health and Certificate in Emergency Preparedness and Response from Loma Linda University.


Erik J. Usher, RN, BS, CEN, CPEN, EMT-P, CFRN, has over 27 years pre-hospital and hospital based emergency medicine experience, most recently as a Rotor-Wing Flight Nurse/Paramedic for Bayflite Aeromedical Program out of St. Petersburg, Florida. Erik worked collaboratively with the City of Las Vegas, Clark County Nevada, and University Medical Center of Southern Nevada post 9/11 as the Chief Flight Nurse of Mercy Air Base 7 to help redefine the community’s public health responses in acts of terror. Erik was intimately involved in the four 2004 hurricanes that struck Florida as a first responder to aid in the evacuation of patients from both CERT stations and crippled hospitals. Erik started his career in 1988 in Bristol, Connecticut, and has worked in several Level I trauma centers throughout the country. He is an active national speaker as well as a lead instructor for advanced procedural cadaver labs throughout the country. Erik maintains board certifications as a Certified Emergency Nurse, Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse, and Certified Flight Registered Nurse and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health Administration

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.