Only a few bacterial or viral species in the environment consistently cause disease in a host. The most highly evolved pathogens are those that obtain the necessary nutrients without killing the host until they have a chance to multiply. An effective biological terrorism agent would have the potential for massive casualties; the ability to produce lengthy illness; the ability to spread via contagion; a prolonged incubation period; a paucity of adequate detection systems; nonspecific symptoms; few if any treatment options; and a fearsome reputation designed to create panic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, together with military experts in biological weapons, have examined many organisms that may be potential biological weapons. The list ("The A List") is as follows: anthrax, botulism, plague, smallpox, tularemia, and viral hemorrhagic fevers. New technology may invalidate many of these estimates of potential terrorist biological threats, as well as current detection systems and treatment protocols. Each year, as a result of drug toxicity testing, approximately 50,000 compounds are identified as highly toxic. Any one of these compounds is a potential biological toxin for use by a terrorist. Since time plays an important role in the successful treatment of exposed patients, astute first responders or dispatchers may provide first clues to an attack by noting multiple calls for similar reasons to a geographic location or calls to patients with similar complaints. In addition, specific and timely intelligence that is shared with medical professionals at the front line may markedly cut response time for possible epidemics. Conversely, medical providers who suspect a pathogen should immediately pass the information to the proper authorities for further investigation.