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Biological Warfare and the Threat of BioterrorismBY: Zandro Cabaral | Category: Biotechnology-products | Submitted: 2011-01-21 00:54:38
Article Summary: "This article is about Biological warfare and Bioterrorism. the history of the use of each agent and the countries involved was based on facts and also mere hear-says..."
As the onset of war between nations begun, weaponry and armories seem not enough to command and conquer anymore. The mega nations keep coming up with a newer, a more brutal and a more powerful weapon everyday. The art of war is what they call it. Strategies ranged from producing the most lethal weapons, mutation of human beings and animals for a more powerful army and the use of deadly microorganisms to kill and eliminate their enemies. Most organisms that are used in bioterrorism are those that cause epidemics, can easily be transmitted or highly infectious and those that have no cure or treatment. The effectiveness of this "biological warfare" is high that's why many countries use it to gain power.
The end of the twentieth century witnessed a rise in the risk of bioterrorism. While the presence of Smallpox has been eradicated, small stocks of smallpox virus known as Variola still exist in the United States as well as Russia, and unknown stocks probably exist in other countries considered likely to engage in terrorism. Global supplies of smallpox vaccine for use in case of deliberate release of smallpox virus are inadequate, and millions of people are likely to become infected and die in the event of such a release. Steps are only now being taken to ensure sufficient stockpiles of vaccine for this eventuality, and it will be several more years before these reach a critical size.
On the middle of the Gulf war, the US was threatened by a series of attacks transmitted through the mail killing a thousand Americans and hospitalizing more. The Anthrax virus, an infection caused by bacillus anthracis that occurs primarily to herbivores and transmission is by its spores placed in the envelopes and delivered randomly to residents in the US. People who inhaled the spores got infected and manifested with respiratory distress, bacteremia and sepsis. The most common cause of death during the attacks was the respiratory manifestation known as the Woolsorters' disease.
Another organism popularly used during the Gulf war was the Brucella species. The organism is the causative agent of the disease known as Brucellosis. This is a zoonotic disease transmitted through ingestion of animal meat and milk. The symptoms of the disease are mostly systemic and difficult to treat. No data of the fatalities were ever recorded about this incidence.
The "Plague" was another epidemic that was used as an agent for biological terrorism. The causative agent of this disease is the yersinia pestis, enterobacteria carried by rats and transmitted to humans via fleas. The epidemic has a grand history and known to kill millions the time it hit the world. People who were infected suffered lung complications known as the "pneumonic plague" as well as gastrointestinal manifestations of the disease. The most common was the infection of the yersinia pestis to the lymph nodes causing "bubonic plague".
The Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis virus has been humored to be kept in a heavily-guarded base in Venezuela and Siberia. This deadly virus infects the brain and incapacitates the victim and cause death.
In the year 1998, a humored came out that the White South American Government ordered to engineering of a genetic virus which only attacks a certain gene specifically present only to the black race. This was called the "Ethnic Bomb". This same principle was followed by the US. A certain virus was engineered to attack a specific gene found only in the Arabian race. This was used to eliminate thousands of Iraqi troops during the war. The US army denies these allegations.
Pfiesteria piscicida, a so called cell from hell, releases a killer toxin to humans. The Pfiesteria toxin causes a variety of symptoms including loss of motor coordination and impairment of a variety of other mental functions, disorientation, memory loss, loss of ability to concentrate. Considered as the ultimate biological threat, it is effective in both airborne and waterborne. Still hear-says about this pathogen was linked to the US military but no comments were made the regarding the issue.
The Clostridium botolinum, which produces the most toxic substance in the world called "botox". The mechanism of this toxin causes neurologic defecits that may lead to coma or even death. So far, it is the first runner of all the agents for bioterrorism commonly used in the world.
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