Bioterrorism biological warfare and public health

Inthe bodies of Mongol warriors of the Golden Horde who had died of plague were thrown over the walls of the besieged Crimean city of Kaffa. Specialists disagree over whether this operation may have been responsible for the spread of the Black Death into Europe, Near East and North Africa, resulting in the killing of approximately 25 million Europeans. It is not clear, however, whether the smallpox was a result of the Fort Pitt incident or the virus was already present among the Delaware people.

Bioterrorism biological warfare and public health

Anthrax has been used before. Inanthrax spores were sent through the United States postal system. In all, 22 people contracted anthrax — five of whom died.

And, the guilty party was never caught. Smallpox Another potential agent of bioterrorism is smallpoxwhich, unlike anthrax, can spread from person to person. Smallpox is no longer a disease of concern in the natural world — because concerted vaccination efforts stamped it out — and the last naturally spread case occurred in However, if someone were to gain access to the smallpox virus it is still kept in two laboratories — one in the U.

Once a human is infected, the resulting disease can either develop into bubonic plague, which is difficult to transmit among humans and fairly easy to treat with antibioticsor — if the infection spreads to the lungs — it becomes pneumonic plague, which develops rapidly and does not respond well to antibiotics.

A paper written on the plague and its potential for use in biological terrorism says: It does not spread easily from person to person, so for it to be effective, it would need to be liberally added to a major water source.

In the past, the bacteria responsible for cholera, Vibrio cholerae, has been weaponized by the U. Tularemia Some consider tularemia, an infection caused by the Francisella tularensis bacterium, as a potential bioweapon. It causes feverulcerations, swelling of lymph glands, and, sometimes, pneumonia.

The bacterium can cause infection by entering through breaks in the skin or by being breathed into the lungs. It is particularly infectious, and only a very small number of organisms as few as 10 need to enter the body to set off a serious bout of tularemia.

Others considered to have potential as biological weapons include brucellosis, Q fevermonkeypox, arboviral encephalitides, viral hemorrhagic fevers, and staphylococcal enterotoxin B.

Although biological weapons are as old as the hills if not oldermodern technology brings new worries. Some experts are concerned about recent advances in gene editing technology. When utilized for good, the latest tools can work wonders.


However — as with most cutting-edge technology — there is always the potential for misuse. A gene editing technology called CRISPR has set off alarm bells in the defense community; the technology allows researchers to edit genomes, thereby easily modifying DNA sequences to alter gene function.

Bioterrorism biological warfare and public health

In the right hands, this tool has the potential to correct genetic defects and treat disease. In the wrong hands, however, it has the potential for evil.

CRISPR technology is becoming cheaper to run and therefore more accessible to individuals bent on bioterrorism.Bioterrorism — the deliberate release of a harmful biologic agent to intimidate civilians and their government — constitutes a threat to public health that differs from any other public health.

Biological Weapons, Bioterrorism, and Vaccines. Biological warfare and bioterrorism are often used interchangeably, but bioterrorism usually refers to acts committed by a sub-national entity, rather than a country.

Recommendations of the CDC Strategic Planning Workgroup

preparations for a biological attack will likely benefit the response to other kinds of public health emergencies. . Public Health Emergency Planning for Children in Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Disasters.

Biosecurity and Bioterrorism. 12(4) The authors discuss the distinguishable physical, developmental, and social traits and characteristics of children in the context of chemical, biological, radiological, and .

This site provides educational information from the news media on possible biological weapons, considered in an epidemiologic and public health context. Different from biologic warfare which attempts to kill, bioterrorism thrives on public fear, potentially immobilizing or demoralizing a population.

Information on terrorism and public health. Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Jul 21,  · Introduction. The threat of biological warfare seems remote to most industrialized and developing nations. However, the threat of bioterrorism, in which biological agents are used by extremists as weapons against civilian populations, is a matter of concern.

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract The global events of the last two decades indicate that the threat of biological warfare is not a myth, but a harsh reality.
Acts of bioterrorism range from a single exposure directed at an individual by another individual to government-sponsored biological warfare resulting in mass casualties.
Biodefense The examples and perspective in this section deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Biodefense The examples and perspective in this section deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. You may improve this articlediscuss the issue on the talk pageor create a new articleas appropriate.
Biological warfare - Wikipedia