Zoonotic diseases are diseases that are transmitted between animals and humans. Important zoonotic diseases include rabies, anthrax, brucellosis, small pox, tularemia, Q fever, and psittacosis. Many of these diseases are acquired through recreational or occupational exposures, or may be potential bioterrorism agents.
A bioterrorism attack is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs (agents) used to cause illness or death in people, animals, or plants. These agents are typically found in nature, but it is possible that they could be changed to increase their ability to cause disease.