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Biological Warfare & Chemical

Threats to the United States!

 

Radical Islamic Terrorist Cells are operating throughout the United States.

We must be MUCH more aware of our surroundings, neighbors and be more suspicious of what is happening around us.

We, as the greatest free nation in the world, must change and make security Priority one for our people and country.

We will have to adopt more policies used by the Israel’s for our own security.

We may have to do racial profiling to sort out those that are so willing to kill (for Ali) our civilian & military personnel.

If this is what has to be done…So Be It!

The security of our People is worth it, don’t YOU think?

 

We WILL SURVIVE; there is NO doubt about it!

 

The following is some information that I feel may be useful in to all concerned about more terrorist attacks and the biological/chemical threats that COULD be used.

This information has been compiled through my research on the web and contains info from MSNBC, Military.con, Internet and Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia.

It is intended to give you more awareness of what these terrorists could use and is not intended to scare or horrify anyone.

 


MSNBC Article:

U.S. gearing up against possible chemical attack

Federal officials lifted the ban on crop dusters Tuesday morning,

after it was implemented due to the threat of a possible attack using

that equipment. NBC 6 Senior Correspondent Ike Seamans has undergone

chemical warfare training and brings a unique perspective to this threat.

 

In 1995, there was a chemical attack in a Tokyo Subway. 12 people were killed in that attack and 5,500 were injured. Thousands could have died, but the terrorists botched the job.

In 1990, Iraqi chemical weapons wiped out a Kurdish village.

Now experts say it can and will happen here.

“If they can get a hold of it now, they can disperse it in this community without much difficulty,”

said Chuck Lanza, the head of Miami-Dade’s Emergency Management Office.

Ike Seamans went to the Army's Biological Chemical Command at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, which trains local emergency planners. He tried the “Quick Mask.” It’s what you can buy in stores today for smoke inhalation and can even protect you from chemical attack.”

But, in the simulated Hot Zone Gas Chamber, Ike discovered that it’s not enough to protect you and your family from chemical and biological weapons. You'll need something better.

No one doubts an attack will come.

When the army tester was asked if something like this was coming, he replied, “Yes, it probably is.”

According to scientists for the United States Defense Department, when microscopic spores or bioweapons enter the body, and the body has not been vaccinated against the particular poison, the biological weapon destroys tissues and attacks the immune system. Death occurs within days.

Experts have been warning of the threat for years. Just two years ago, President Clinton, after reading a novel about a biological attack, ordered a massive biochemical defense program to begin.

Tuesday morning on the today show, Katie Couric spoke with one expert who says in this time of nuclear or biological war threats, we’ll need to rely on the government.

When asked how we could take matters into our own hands, NBC News analyst and terrorism expert Steve Emerson said, “My own mother asked me whether she should get a gas mask, and frankly it hits home when the family asks. And I told her look, at this point a gas mask is not going to be required in your home, because if an attack occurs it is going to be in an open area. And a gas mask is not going to protect her from a biological agent. So, I told her to save her $200 at this point and just let the government do what it needs to do, and I believe it will do.”

Two days after the World Trade Center attack, a bill was introduced in the Senate to spend more than $100 billion to start making vaccines, but that will still take years.

Sept. 18, 2001– While the FBI is working up new plans to combat terrorism, a panel on national security reminds us that biological warfare is also a threat.

MSNBC Report http://www.msnbc.com/local/wtvj/nbc2w1atxrc.asp

 

Some Biological Warfare Threats

 

Types of Agents

BW (Biological Warfare) agents differ widely in infectiousness, length of incubation period, and lethality.

Bacteria are single-cell organisms that are the causative agents of anthrax, brucellosis, tularemia, plague, and numerous other diseases. They vary considerably in infectivity and lethality.
Rickettsiae are microorganisms that resemble bacteria in form and structure but differ in that they are intracellular parasites that can reproduce inside animal cells. Examples of rickettsial diseases that might be used for BW include typhus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Q fever.
Viruses are intracellular parasites that are about 100 times smaller than bacteria. They can infect humans, crops, or domestic animals. An example of a virus that might be used for BW is Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis. VEE virus causes a highly infectious disease that incapacitates but rarely kills. A virusís strength can be altered to increase its efficiency. A particularly powerful strain of an endemic pathogen could simply be blamed on a chance natural mutation.
Some Fungi can cause severe disease in humans, such as coccidioidmycosis (valley fever) and histoplasmosis. Moreover, fungal diseases are devastating to plants and might be used to destroy staple crops and cause widespread hunger and economic hardship. Examples of plant fungal pathogens include rice blast, cereal rust, and potato blight.
A toxin is a poisonous substance made by a living system, or a synthetic analogue of a naturally occurring poison. An enormous variety of toxins are manufactured by bacteria, fungi, marine organisms, plants, insects, spiders, and other animals. (CIA)

Production of Agents

BW agents are relatively easy and inexpensive to produce for any nation that has a modestly sophisticated pharmaceutical or fermentation industry. Mass-production methods for growing cultures are widely used in the commercial production of yogurt, yeast, beer, antibiotics, and vaccines. Almost all equipment needed for the production of pathogens and toxins is dual-use and available on the international market, increasing the potential for concealing illicit activities under the cover of legitimate production. (CIA)

Delivery Methods

BW agents are nonvolatile solids that would be disseminated either as a liquid slurry or a dry powder of freeze-dried organisms or toxin. Possible delivery systems range in complexity and effectiveness from an agricultural sprayer mounted on a truck to a specialized cluster warhead carried on a ballistic missile. The key to producing large-scale respiratory infections is to generate an aerosol or stable cloud of suspended microscopic droplets, each containing from one to thousands of bacterial or virus particles. Fogs and smokes are examples of visible aerosols. (CIA)

 


Anthrax

What is Anthrax?

Anthrax is an acute infectious disease caused by a bacterium called Bacillus anthracis.

Anthrax most commonly occurs in livestock, but can also infect humans.

(Anthrax, contagious disease of warm-blooded animals, including humans, caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. One of the oldest known diseases, it was once epidemic and still appears in many world areas, but only sporadically in the western and southern United States. It was the first disease for which the causative organism was isolated, by C. J. Davaine in 1863, for which a pure culture was obtained, by Robert Koch in 1876, and for which an effective vaccine was developed, by Louis Pasteur in 1881.

Animals acquire the disease from drinking water draining from contaminated soil, in which the infectious bacteria may live for years; from eating infected carcasses and feedstuffs; and from the bites of bloodsucking insects. The disease, sometimes manifested by staggering, bloody discharge, convulsions, and suffocation, may be fatal almost immediately in acute cases and within three to five days in subacute cases. Death is caused by toxemia. The disease can be prevented by immunization, and in animals that have not been vaccinated, it can be treated with antibiotics.

In humans, the disease appears in both external and internal forms, with a death rate of about 20 percent. The external or cutaneous form is contracted through cuts or abrasions in the skin by those who handle infected hides and carcasses and may be self-limiting, but often disseminates into the bloodstream, with fever and prostration. The external form is characterized by malignant pustules on exposed skin areas. The internal type is acquired by inhaling anthrax spores, as from animal hair and wool, which invade the lungs and sometimes the intestinal tract to cause hemorrhage. A particularly virulent form of inhaled anthrax, sometimes called battlefield anthrax, has been developed as a biological weapon. This anthrax strain is fatal unless the infected person has been vaccinated or antibiotics are administered within 12 hours (see Chemical and Biological Warfare). It is speculated that an intestinal variety may be caused by consuming contaminated meat or milk. Workers exposed to animal products, especially wool, are protected by vaccination. Penicillin and tetracyclines are effective in treatment except in rapidly progressing cases.

The worst outbreak of anthrax occurred in 1979, when a biological weapons plant in Sverdlovsk, Russia (present-day Yekaterinburg), accidentally released airborne anthrax spores, killing 66 people. In 1998 American scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory used newly developed techniques to determine that the spores released in the accident contained at least four different strains of anthrax. This raised concerns that Russia, and possibly other countries, may be working on a vaccine-resistant form of anthrax for use as a biological weapon. The United States government had previously planned to vaccinate all American personnel against anthrax; however, the possibility of genetically engineered new forms of the disease currently has scientists divided as to the effectiveness of such a vaccine.)

How common is anthrax and who can get it?

Anthrax is most common in agricultural regions where it occurs in animals. Although anthrax can be found globally, it is more often a risk in countries with less standardized and effective public health and animal health programs. Areas currently listed as high risk are South and Central America, Southern and Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. When anthrax affects humans, it is usually due to an occupational exposure to infected animals or their products. Workers who are exposed to dead animals and animal products (industrial anthrax) from other countries where anthrax is more common may become infected with B. anthracis. Anthrax in animals rarely occurs in the United States and consequently human anthrax is rare here.

How is anthrax transmitted?

Anthrax infection can occur in three forms: cutaneous (skin), inhalation, and gastrointestinal. Spores of the bacterium B. anthracis can live in the soil for many years, and livestock can become infected by grazing on contaminated pasture. Humans can become infected with anthrax by handling infected animals or animal products or by inhaling anthrax spores from contaminated animal products. Anthrax can also be spread by eating undercooked meat from infected animals.

What are the Symptoms of anthrax?

Symptoms of disease vary depending on how the disease was contracted, but symptoms usually occur within seven days.

Cutaneous: Most anthrax infections occur when the bacterium enters a cut or abrasion on the skin, such as when handling contaminated wool, hides, leather or hair products (especially goat hair) of infected animals. Skin infection begins as a raised itchy bump that resembles an insect bite but within 1-2 days the lesion will blister and then develop into a painless ulcer, usually 1-3 cm in diameter, with a characteristic black necrotic (dying) area in the center. Lymph glands in the adjacent area may swell. About 20% of untreated cases of cutaneous anthrax are fatal. Deaths are rare with appropriate antimicrobial therapy.

Inhalation: Initial symptoms may resemble a common cold. After several days, the symptoms may progress to severe breathing problems and shock. Inhalation anthrax usually results in death in 1-2 days after onset of the acute symptoms.

Intestinal: The intestinal disease form of anthrax may follow the consumption of contaminated meat and is characterized by an acute inflammation of the intestinal tract. Initial signs of nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, fever are followed by abdominal pain, vomiting of blood, and severe diarrhea. Intestinal anthrax results in death in 25% to 60% of cases.

Can anthrax be spread from person-to-person?

Direct person-to-person spread of anthrax most likely does not occur.

How is anthrax diagnosed?

Anthrax is diagnosed by isolating B. anthracis from the blood, skin lesions, or respiratory secretions or by measuring specific antibodies in the blood of suspected cases.

What is the treatment for anthrax?

Doctors can prescribe effective antibiotics. Usually penicillin is preferred, but erythromycin, tetracycline, or chloramphenicol can also be used. To be effective, treatment should be initiated early. If left untreated, the disease can be fatal.

Is there an anthrax vaccine for humans?

There is currently one anthrax vaccine for humans licensed for use in the United States. Because anthrax is considered to be a potential agent for use in biological warfare, the Department of Defense recently announced that it will begin systematic vaccination of all U.S. military personnel. Among civilians, anthrax vaccine is recommended for individuals who come in contact in the workplace with imported animal hides, furs, bonemeal, wool, animal hair (especially goat hair), and bristles; and for individuals engaged in diagnostic or investigational activities which may bring them into contact with anthrax spores. The vaccine should only be administered to healthy men and women from 18 to 65 years of age. Because it is not known whether the anthrax vaccine can cause fetal harm, pregnant women should not be vaccinated. The vaccine is reported to be 93% effective in protecting against cutaneous anthrax. Anthrax vaccines intended for use in animals should not be used in humans.

What is the protocol for anthrax vaccination?

The immunization consists of three subcutaneous injections given two weeks apart followed by three additional subcutaneous injections given at 6, 12, and 18 months. Annual booster injections of the vaccine are required to maintain immunity.

Are there adverse reactions to the anthrax vaccine?

Reactions occur in 30% of recipients and consist of slight tenderness and redness at the injection site. A moderate local reaction can occur if the vaccine is given to anyone with a past history of anthrax infection. Severe local reactions are very infrequent and consist of extensive swelling of the forearm in addition to the local reaction. Systemic reactions occur in fewer than 0.2% of recipients and are characterized by flu-like symptoms.

 

 


Smallpox

 

History

Started with the conquistadors bringing it up from Spain in the 1700s. These men gave it to the American Indians. In 100 years it killed off ninety percent of the American Indians. The virus is the longest lived human pathogen in history with cases dating back 2000 years. Some medical historians believe that Ramses V, the Egyptian pharoah who died in 1157 B.C. may have had pock marks on his mummified face.

(Smallpox, acute, highly contagious viral disease that is often fatal. Once considered a fairly prevalent disease that developed in epidemics around the world, smallpox now appears to have been completely eradicated.

The smallpox virus is transmitted through droplets discharged from the mouth and nose of an infected person that are inhaled by another person. Onset of the first phase of smallpox infection occurs after a 12-day incubation period following infection. This phase is marked by high fever, prostration, back and muscle pain, and sometimes vomiting. A characteristic rash develops two to five days later on the face, the palms, and the soles of the feet. During the next six to ten days the rash develops into pustular (pus-filled) pimples. In extreme cases the pustular pimples run together, which usually indicates a lethal infection of the virus. The return of fever and related symptoms initiates the second stage of disease, during which the pustules may become secondarily infected by bacteria. As recovery begins, the pustules become crusted, often leaving scars, and the fever and related symptoms subside. Death is caused by infection of the lungs, heart, or brain. Blindness and male infertility are possible side effects of smallpox among survivors. A person with smallpox is infectious from about the third day through the erupting phase. Survivors usually experience long-term immunity to the disease.

In 1967 the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) launched a worldwide vaccination campaign against smallpox. At the time, about 10 to 15 million cases of the disease occurred each year, with more than 2 million deaths. By mid-1975 when all India was declared free of smallpox, only a few cases were left in two countries, Bangladesh and Ethiopia. In 1979, after two years without a reported case of smallpox, the WHO marked the disappearance of smallpox from the earth. It recommended that countries stop vaccinating against smallpox and that laboratory stocks of the virus be destroyed. Underlining the importance of the latter request was the death of an English woman in 1979 from smallpox contracted in a laboratory while working with the virus.

Stocks of the virus now exist only at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Russian State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology in Koltsovo, Russian Federation. In 1996, the WHO initially resolved to destroy the remaining stocks of smallpox virus on June 30,1999. But in May 1999, the WHO decided to temporarily postpone destruction of the virus until at least the year 2002. This delay is intended to foster continued research into antiviral agents, improved vaccines, as well as the natural and synthetic permutations of the smallpox virus that may cause the disease's unexpected revival.)

Symptoms

Early Symptoms
Later Symptoms
Treatments/Vaccines

There was one treatment known as Variolation, which the European healers used fluid from a small pox pustle scratching it into a healthy person's skin. This would cause a low-grade small pox infection. This was not fatal. There immune system would build up preventing them from receiving the deadly end of the small pox disease. Edward Jenner was the person who discovered the vaccine. These days there is no known cases of small pox. It is "extinct"

 

 


Plague

 

What is Plague?

Plague is caused by a bacteria, Yersinia pestis, which is carried by fleas that feed on infected rodents. Human plague is very rare, but when a person does get plague, it usually occurs during summer months, when people are active outdoors and flea activity is greatest.

Who gets plague?

Anyone can get plague. However, people in occupations such as laboratory work, geology, or biology may have more contact with infected rodents and fleas. Young people under the age of 20 also seem to have a greater risk. Possible reasons for plague in young people may be:

  1. Young people are more active and inquisitive and may be more likely to find and play with a sick or dead rodent.
  2. Children are more likely to play where rodents live.
  3. Young people may have more contact with pets that may carry infected fleas.
  4. Teenage boys have more contact with rodents and their fleas because of hunting and other outdoor activities.

How is plague spread?

The most common source of plague in humans has been the bite of infected fleas. Other sources include the handling of tissues of infected animals, especially rodents and rabbits. Domestic pets, particularly house cats, may carry plague-infected fleas into homes and occasionally transmit infection by their bites or scratches. Occasionally, cats or humans infected with plague pharyngitis or pneumonia may spread plague in airborne droplets. Careless handling of laboratory cultures can also result in plague.

What are the symptoms of plague?

Plague appears in man in one of three forms. Bubonic plague is the most common. Septicemic plague is the second form and occurs when the bacterium enters the blood stream. The third form is pneumonic plague, which occurs when infection moves to the lungs.

Symptoms of bubonic plague include high fever, chills, severe malaise, headaches, delirium, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, coma, and death, if not diagnosed. The most distinctive symptom is swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin, armpits, or neck. The swollen lymph nodes are called buboes. These become painful, pus-filled, and may rupture and ooze fluid.

Symptoms of septicemic plague are similar to bubonic, only without an increase in the size of the lymph nodes. This form can be serious because it can be difficult to diagnose. Symptoms of pneumonic plague include cough, bloody sputum, high fever, and chills. Any form of plague can be fatal if not treated. Septicemic and pneumonic plague are more often fatal than bubonic because they are harder to recognize. Fortunately, these types of plague are less common.

How soon after infection do symptoms appear?

Symptoms usually start two to six days after exposure for bubonic plague and two to four days after exposure for pneumonic plague.

What is the treatment for plague?

Streptomycin is the drug of choice. Tetracycline or chloramphenicol are also effective. Tetracycline should not be given to children under age nine.

How can plague be prevented?

  1. By wearing long sleeved shirts and long pants, and tucking pant legs into socks when camping or hiking.
  2. By avoiding flea infested areas during summer months.
  3. By using insect repellents containing DEET on your skin or pyrethrin on your clothing. Be sure to follow the directions on the container and wash off repellents when going indoors.
  4. By avoiding handling rodents, especially dead or diseased rodents. Don't attempt to care for sick rodents.
  5. By reporting large numbers of dead or sick rodents to your local or state health department.
  6. By providing your pets weekly flea treatments with flea powder (especially in areas where plague is present).

Where can I get more information?

 

Your personal doctor

 

Your local health department, listed in the telephone directory

 

 

Info on Plague Supplied By:

UTAH DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
BUREAU OF EPIDEMIOLOGY
August 2001

 


Chemical Threats

A United Nations report from 1969 defines chemical warfare agents as "... chemical substances, whether gaseous, liquid or solid, which might be employed because of their direct toxic effects on man, animals and plants..."

The Chemical Weapons Convention defines chemical weapons as including not only toxic chemicals but also ammunition and equipment for their dispersal. Toxic chemicals are stated to be " ... any chemical which, through its chemical effect on living processes, may cause death, temporary loss of performance, or permanent injury to people and animals". Plants are not mentioned in this context. (OPCW)

Types of Agents

Choking agents are the oldest CW agents. This class includes chlorine and phosgene, first used in World War I. These agents have a corrosive effect on the respiratory system that causes the lungs to fill with water and choke the victim. These agents are delivered as heavy gases that remain near ground level and tend to fill depressions. They dissipate rapidly in a breeze and are among the least effective traditional CW agents.
Blood agents are absorbed into the body primarily by breathing; they prevent the normal utilization of oxygen by the cells and cause rapid damage to body tissues. This class includes cyanide and cyanogen chloride. They are highly volatile and in a gaseous state dissipate rapidly in air. These agents are most effective when delivered in a surprise attack.
Blister agents are used to cause medical casualties; they affect the eyes and lungs and blister the skin. Such agents are simple to produce, and include sulfur mustard, nitrogen mustard, and lewisite. Sulfur mustard is considered by some as the ideal CW agent. It presents both a respiratory and a percutaneous (skin) hazard, forcing personnel to wear masks and protective clothing. It is persistent and presents a long-term hazard, forcing decontamination of the battlefield.
G-series nerve agents, developed in the 1930s, cause paralysis of the respiratory musculature and subsequent death, in sufficient concentration. They include tabun, sarin, soman, and GF. These agents act rapidly and may be absorbed through the skin or the respiratory tract. Some agents, such as tabun and sarin, tend to be relatively nonpersistent, creating a short-term respiratory hazard on the battlefield.
V-series nerve agents, developed in the 1950s, are similar to, but more advanced than, G-series agents. This class includes VE, VG, VM, VS, and VX. These agents are more toxic and more persistent than the G-agents and present a greater skin hazard. They are used for long-term contamination of territory. (CIA)

Production of Agents

Many CW agents, particularly choking, blood, and blister agents, are relatively easy to produce. Some of their technologies are more than 80 years old, making them accessible by virtually any Third World country and many terrorist groups. Newer agents, particularly nerve agents, are somewhat more difficult to produce. However, much of the technology to produce these agents is widely available in the public domain and, as demonstrated by the Aum Shinrikyo in Japan, these agents can be produced by a determined terrorist group.

Production of CW agents is similar to that of legitimate commercial compounds. Both involve use of standard chemical process equipment. Some of the more sophisticated equipment is distinctive enough to warrant special consideration, and some of this equipment is controlled by the Australia Group. In particular, equipment that is exceptionally resistant to corrosion has important applications for CW because of the highly corrosive compounds encountered in CW agent production. (CIA)

Delivery Methods

Development of a dispersal device is somewhat more technologically complex than the production of chemical agents. Many conventional munitions, such as bombs, artillery shells, grenades, and mines, can be modified to deliver chemical agents. A spray tank, commercially available for dissemination of agricultural chemicals from aircraft, can be used to disseminate chemical agents. Similarly, ground-based aerosol generators used to disseminate pesticides can be used for CW purposes. (CIA)

 








YAHOO NEWS Biological and Chemical Weapons

Emergency Response to Chemical/Biological Terrorist Incidents

 

 

 


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