Possible Signs Of An Anthrax Attack
An anthrax attack could take many forms. For example, it could be placed in letters and mailed, as was done in 2001, or it could be put into food or water. Anthrax also could be released into the air from a truck, building, or plane. This type of attack would mean the anthrax spores could easily be blown around by the wind or carried on peoples clothes, shoes, and other objects. It only takes a small amount of anthrax to infect a large number of people.
If anthrax spores were released into the air, people could breathe them in and get sick with anthrax. Inhalation anthrax is the most serious form and can kill quickly if not treated immediately. If the attack were not detected by one of the monitoring systems in place in the United States, it might go unnoticed until doctors begin to see unusual patterns of illness among sick people showing up at emergency rooms.
What Are Chemical And Biological Weapons
Like a nuclear bomb, a chemical or biological weapon is a weapon of mass destruction. An effective attack using a chemical or biological agent can easily kill thousands of people. When you spray your lawn or garden with a chemical to control aphids, you are, in essence, waging a chemical war on aphids.
Covert Vs Overt Bioterrorism
As with chemical agents, the intentional release of biological agents can be either covert or overt. A covert release is unannounced and hidden, and may go unnoticed for days or even weeks. The presence of ill individuals may be the first sign of a release, and those infected may have inadvertently infected others. An infected person may seek medical care anywhere within the healthcare system, possibly at a distance from the release area.
An overt release is immediately apparent and may even be announced. In an overt release, the healthcare system and public health officials may be overwhelmed by requests for information and treatment. Hospitals, clinics, emergency responders, and communication systems will be pressed into immediate service. An overt release has the potential to cause widespread panic.
Whether the release is covert or overt, healthcare providers should be alert to illness patterns and diagnostic clues that indicate an unusual infectious disease outbreak that could be associated with intentional release of a biological agent. In addition that should watch for increases in unexpected or unexplained illnesses and know how to activate the public health response system if an outbreak is suspected . Well-trained and educated first responders, first receivers, and public health personnel are essential to an organized and successful response.
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Improving Response To Biologically Induced Illness
Healthcare providers, clinical laboratory personnel, infection control professionals, and public health departments play critical and complementary roles in the recognition and response to illness caused by the intentional release of biological agents. Syndrome descriptions, epidemiologic clues, and laboratory recommendations provide basic guidance that can improve recognition of these events .
Since 9/11, state and local health departments have initiated activities to improve recognition, reporting, and response, ranging from enhancing communications to conducting special surveillance projects. This includes active tracking for changes in the number of hospital admissions, emergency department visits, and occurrence of specific syndromes. Bioterrorism preparedness activities and work with emerging infectious diseases have helped public health agencies prepare for the intentional release of a biological agent . The CDCs Emergency Preparedness and Response website has links to and information on the various tools available, as well as other resources.
What Are The Most Dangerous Bioweapons In The World
Bioweapons have been used for wars, bio-terrorism for centuries. Although the UN banned many substances some countries have no problems using them anyway, even the ones so dangerous that theyve been classified as weapons of mass destruction, or WMD. This is a list of the 8 most dangerous banned Bioweapons.
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Rpg Rocket Propelled Grenade
With the RPG you can fire anti-tank rockets from the shoulder. Based on the Nazi Germanys Panzerfaust it was developed into feared anti-tank weapon. A soldier with limited training and a cheap and simple rocket-propelled grenade can destroy a multi-million dollar tank.
It was widely used against the Americans in the Vietnam War by the Viet Cong and the Peoples Army. When the Soviet Army invaded Afganistan, they faced the Mujahideen who quickly became very adept in the use of it against tanks and military vehicles.
In the middle of the 1950s, the American army developed their version of the RPG, which became known as the LAW, lightweight antitank weapon.
RPGs remain the menace of armored vehicles and tanks since their inception.
What Are The Biological Agents That Cause Disease
Biological agents include viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites, and they can cause health problems either directly or through exposure to related allergens or toxins. Work-related exposure to biological agents may be associated with several health problems, including infectious diseases, cancer and allergies.
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Why Are Chemical And Biological Weapons Banned
The modern use of chemical weapons began with World War I, when both sides to the conflict used poisonous gas to inflict agonizing suffering and to cause significant battlefield casualties. As a result of public outrage, the Geneva Protocol, which prohibited the use of chemical weapons in warfare, was signed in 1925.
Most Common Biological Weapons
Anthrax has been the most used biological weapon in the last century. Caused by Bacillus anthracis, the disease attacks both humans and animals and is found in soils where they exist in the form of spores. These spores are hard to destroy and can stay dormant for almost 50 years. The botulinum toxin is another dangerous bioweapon agent that can be spread through the air, water, or food. A single gram of the toxin can kill a million people when inhaled. The Japanese used it against the Chinese in the occupation of the Manchurian region. Smallpox almost wiped out humans in the 20th century before vaccinations brought it under control. However, this did not stop humans from experimenting with it to create weapons. Russia is believed to house frozen weaponized smallpox within its borders. Tularemia as a weapon was used against the Germans by the Soviet army in Stalingrad during WWII.
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Which Is More Dangerous To Global Security Nuclear Weapons Biological Weapons Or Chemical Weapons
In terms of which type of weapons of mass destruction is more dangerous to global security, I would say that by orders of magnitude, the most dangerous weapons of mass destruction is nuclear weapons, followed by chemical weapons and the least dangerous would be biological weapons.
Since danger is primarily assessed through the number of casualties or the weapons projected capacity to inflict mass casualties, nuclear weapons are doubtless the most lethal and the most destructive, physically, politically, socially, environmentally, etc. It is the release of the power of the star after all. Nuclear weapons are, in practice, classified as strategic weapons. In other words, nuclear weapons are only used as weapons of last resort, and they are, in theory, only used in the event of an existential threat to the states survival. In short, nuclear weapons would only be used if another nuclear state attacks it with nuclear weapons. This is the primary reason for the second-strike capability of some nuclear-armed states to retain the capacity to bring about the apocalypse.
The Pandemic And Americas Response To Future Bioweapons
In the fall of 2011, Dr. Ron Fouchier developed one of the most dangerous viruses you can make. Fouchier, a Dutch virologist at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, claimed that his team had done something really, really stupid and mutated the hell out of H5N1. At nearly the same time, Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka at the University of Wisconsin-Madison worked on grafting the H5N1 spike gene onto 2009 H1N1 swine flu, creating another transmissible, virulent strain.
Despite only 600 human cases of the H5N1 virus in the previous two decades, the exceptionally high mortality rate greater than 50 percent pushed the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity to block the publication of both teams research. After a heated debate in the scientific community, the World Health Organization deemed it safe to publish the findings. While Kawaokas paper appeared in the journal Nature, Fouchiers original study appeared in Science. Although both teams generated viruses that were not as lethal as their wild forms, critics worried that the papers would enable rogue scientists to replicate the manipulations and weaponize a more contagious virus.
Engineering the Next Pandemic
Prepare for the Worst
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Are We Prepared For A Bioterrorist Attack
Much like the horrific leveling of the World Trade Center inNew York City last month, a bioterrorist attack will probablycome unannounced. Unlike the all-too-visible collapseof the Twin Towers, though, a bioattack could take days or weeks tosurface, until enough illness and deaths have occurred for publichealth officials to realize what has happened.
Countermeasures against bioterrorism are presently limited tostockpiling vaccine and antibiotics, as well as educating health careworkers to recognize infected individuals.Some experts have suggestedthat battlefield biodetector technology could one day beadapted into smoke alarmlike units for placement in subways,office complexes, and other public sites. However, the panic that apositive identification would likely generate is something to consider.How many false alarms would the public tolerate? Then, too,a real attack may go unreported, because the detectors fail orbecause the bioagent has been engineered to avoid detection.Hoaxes are also a concern. Already, the City of Los Angeles is saidto spend US $14 million dealing with false anthrax scares.
In the event of a confirmed attack, though, a first step will beseparating the infected from the worried well and merely paranoid.One could, for example, check for increased levels of nitricoxidea common response to infectionin a person’s breath.Robert Lad, a physics professor at the University of Maine, isworking on such a biowarfare breathalyzer.
Current state of the art
A Different Sort Of Response
The response required for bioterrorism is also fundamentally different from that demanded by natural disasters, conventional explosives, chemical terrorism, radiological terrorism , or nuclear weapons. Due to the incubation periods of a number of biological agents, the effects of a biological attack may not be noticed for several days after the delivery of the agent against a population?a fact that complicates the public health response to a biological attack compared, for example, to the acutely recognizable results of a chemical attack.
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Vaccine Response To Bioweapon Threats
In a wide-scale emergency in which a vaccine is available or potentially available, a large supply of vaccine would be necessary and would be needed quickly. Currently, the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile has enough smallpox vaccine to vaccinate every person in the country in the event of a bioweapon attack. The stockpile also holds millions of doses of anthrax vaccine, other vaccines, antiviral medications, and other medical supplies. Quick deployment of a vaccine is essential to its success in preventing disease: for some diseases, vaccinating after exposure may have no effect on preventing disease, and for others, vaccination must occur very quickly after exposure for prophylaxis to work. In the case of smallpox, PEP is most likely to be effective when given within four days of exposure to the virus. Plans provide for smallpox vaccine to be shipped starting on the first day of an attack, and it would continue to be shipped from the stockpile to the rest of the country as needed in the five to six days following the attack.
Biosecurity experts have suggested that the use of agents for passive immunization could play a role in response to certain bioweapon attacks. The advantage of using antibodies rather than vaccines to respond to a bioterror event is that antibodies provide immediate protection, whereas a protective response generated by a vaccine is not immediate and, in some cases, may depend on a booster dose given later.
Chemical Weapons Cause Serious Psychological And Physical Effects
Chemical weapons incur far fewer deaths than a nuclear or H-bomb, but they can cause severe psychological and physical effects.
Famous now for Russian assassination attempts in Salisbury, UK, in 2018, Novichok is eight times more toxic than the nerve agent VX developed for warfare.
VX affects the transmission of nerve impulses in the brain and has a similar composition to Novichok.
VX was developed in the UK in the early 1950s. It is persistent, so once released, it is slow to evaporate and can persist for days and even months in cold conditions. The vapour is heavier than air so it will sink to lie close to low-lying areas, making it an area-denial weapon. It is fast-acting and causes symptoms after seconds of exposure.
VX blocks an enzyme in the body, which causes molecules to constantly stimulate muscle and as they spasm they tire, causing death by asphyxiation or heart failure.
Another lethal nerve agent is Sarin, with a single drop able to kill a person very quickly, with effects similar to VX. It was developed in 1938 in Germany and reportedly used in 2013 across rebel-held suburbs in Damascus, Syria. Estimates of the death toll for the Syrian attack vary from 300 to 1,300, according to the BBC.
Chemical weapons were deployed by both sides during the First World War. Deaths from chlorine, mustard and phosgene gas during the conflict are believed to have totalled around 100,000.
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Possible Dangers To Health From Biotechnology
Unintended consequences of new technology are, by definition, impossible to foresee. Most technologies have side effects that often cannot be predicted in advance. For example, technology that increased global life expectancy has created a society with a larger proportion of retired people who place a heavy burden on welfare and pension systems. Millions of old and sick people stress health-care systems. Combined with decreased infant mortality, a larger human population affects the environment by consuming scarce resources and causing pollution. Overcrowding promotes the emergence and spread of novel infectious diseases that can turn into pandemics.
FIGURE 24.4. Ancient Greek Chimera
The Chimera was a hybrid monster of ancient Greek legend that was thought to live in southwest Anatolia . It combined a lion, goat, and fire-breathing dragon.
FIGURE 24.5. Syrian Civil War
The victims are just as dead whether killed ethically by bullets or unethically by sarin nerve gas.
FIGURE 24.6. Anthrax Letters
Most Dangerous Banned Bioweapons
From infected bodies being flung over castle walls, to a poisonous gas you wont even notice killing you in minutes, you could be infected right now and not even know it. Bioweapons have been used for wars, bio-terrorism for centuries. Although the UN banned many substances some countries have no problems using them anyway, even the ones so dangerous that theyve been classified as weapons of mass destruction, or WMD. This is a list of the 8 most dangerous banned Bioweapons.
The Bubonic plague was most devastating infection the human race has ever seen. It was fleas, who transferred it to rodents, who snuck onto ships, and transferred it to humans all over the world. The plague killed maybe 25 million in China, and third of the population of Europe. During the middle ages medieval armies would use the plague to kill opposing forces. They used to catapults to fling bodies, or faeces over the walls of castles. During the sige of Kafa when the Mongols were being besieged by the Tartar forces, the attackers used Dead Mongols infected with the plague to defeat the Mongols. Its possible that this incident was partly to blame for the start of the Black Death.
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Biological Weaponry Can Wipe Out Whole Populations
Biological weapons, or germ warfare, involve toxins or infectious agents used to incapacitate or kill. The potential for damage is huge, even bigger than the H-bomb. Properly engineered, pathogens could spread quickly into a target population, while aggressors could create vaccines to provide immunity to their own population.
During the Second World War, the Allies built facilities to mass produce anthrax, but the spores were never deployed. Symptoms from anthrax include itchy blisters and sores if caught through the skin, fever and swelling if digested. If inhaled, it will cause the victim to cough blood. If the victim then develops meningitis, there could be inflammation on the brain and spinal cord, which can be life-threatening.
Anthrax is infectious, but not contagious, so it could be used against a specified group of victims, unlike diseases such as plague or smallpox, which without vaccination, could spread beyond control and wipe out entire populations.
Biological weapons were banned by the UN in 1972 and have never been deployed in modern warfare. It has been reported that smallpox-infected blankets were distributed to native Americans by the British Army in the 18th century during the series of conflicts between UK and French colonists.
Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
The relatively recent use of biological agents such as ricin and anthrax demonstrates how even small-scale biological warfare attacks will quickly become international news. Once a patient has been diagnosed with a disease caused by a biological warfare agent, healthcare providers will be responsible for communicating with numerous colleagues and staff and public health officials, law enforcement agencies, members of the media, and elected officials. In attacks involving numerous casualties or high-profile targets such as elected officials, the marshaling of resources to respond will almost certainly reach the national level.
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Which Is The Most Deadly Weapon In The World
Army-technology lists the worlds most deadly bio-weapons. Bacillus anthracis bacteria, which causes anthrax, is one of the most deadly agents to be used as a biological weapon. It is classified by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention as a Category A agent, posing a significant risk to national security.