Who uses biological weapons?
According to US intelligence, South Africa, Israel, Iraq and several other countries have developed or still are developing biological weapons (Zilinskas, 1997; Leitenberg, 2001). Detecting biological warfare research. A comparison of the number of publications from two Russian scientists.
What are the four types of biological agents?
Biological agents include bacteria, viruses, fungi, other microorganisms and their associated toxins. They have the ability to adversely affect human health in a variety of ways, ranging from relatively mild, allergic reactions to serious medical conditions—even death.
How can we prevent biological warfare?
Available protective equipment include respiratory protective devices, full face protective masks and surgical masks for respiratory protection, battle dress overgarments, protective gloves and overboots for skin protection. Full protection is needed when the agent has not been identified.
How is bioterrorism a global threat concern?
According to experts, the threat of global bioterrorism is increasing. In October 2001, bioterrorism became a reality when letters containing powdered anthrax were sent through the U.S. Postal Service. The attack caused 22 cases of illness, 5 of which resulted in death, and widespread fear.
What is the purpose of bioterrorism?
The goal of bioterrorism is usually to create fear and/or intimidate governments or societies for the purpose of gaining political, religious, or ideological goals. Bioterrorism may have a different effect on societies than would weapons such as explosives.
What would happen in a biological attack?
A biological attack is the intentional release of a pathogen (disease causing agent) or biotoxin (poisonous substance produced by a living organism) against humans, plants, or animals. An attack against people could be used to cause illness, death, fear, societal disruption, and economic damage.
How does biological warfare affect the environment?
Biological weapons are considered the most dangerous of all known weapons of mass destruction. They are used to deliberately cause epidemics among humans; destroy the environmental components, including water, air, and soil; and target crops and livestock.
Are biological weapons a threat in today’s world?
There is a heightened threat of biological weapons being used for biological warfare or bioterrorism. Many of the microorganisms and toxins that may be used as such biological weapons can easily be acquired and mass produced. Dissemination of aerosols of these biological agents can produce mass casualties.
Why is bioterrorism a public health threat?
The agents of anthrax, plague, brucellosis, smallpox, viral encephalidites, and viral hemorrhagic fevers are of particular concern: they are relatively easy and inexpensive to produce, cause death or disabling disease, and can be aerosolized and distributed over large geographic areas.
What is a bioterrorism attack?
Español (Spanish) A biological attack, or bioterrorism, is the intentional release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs that can sicken or kill people, livestock, or crops. Bacillus anthracis, the bacteria that causes anthrax, is one of the most likely agents to be used in a biological attack.
What is biochemical terrorism?
Biochemical terrorism—the deliberate dispersion of viruses, bacteria, fungi, and organic or inorganic toxin agents, to kill, mutilate, and create chaos—is a real threat that all countries must cope with today.
What are the 3 bioterrorism threat levels?
The biological weapons as per the CDC classification are classified into three categories, Category A, B and C, as given in Table 1, based on the priority of the agents to pose a risk to the national security and the ease with which they can be disseminated .
Why are bioweapons dangerous?
Bunyavirus causes human infections such as Hanta Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), Rift Valley fever and Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever. It is transmitted by arthropods and rodents and occasionally infects humans too. The Hanta virus causing HPS causes a mortality rate of up to 50%.
Are biological weapons ethical?
Using CBW agents comes with many ethical dilemmas and consequential side-effects. Chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons are designed to yield a great number of deaths. As backed by Virtues Ethics, this mass killing caused by CBW is unethical and unjustified.
What are some examples of biological weapons?
- Q fever.
- Weapon of mass destruction.
Is biological weapon possible?
From the point of view of disarmament, another trend is much more alarming: new types of biological weapons are becoming possible that were entirely fictitious until a few years ago. This is especially true of so-called ‘non-lethal’ weapons that are designed for use outside classical warfare.
What are bioterrorism agents?
Bioterrorism agents are organisms that are deliberately used to sicken and kill. They include bacteria, viruses, and fungi, as well as their toxic byproducts. Terrorists may use these agents due to the deep psychological impact on the fearful public.
What are the effects of biological weapons?
Bioweapons, Biodiversity, and Ecocide: Potential Effects of Biological Weapons on Biological Diversity: Bioweapon disease outbreaks could cause the extinction of endangered wildlife species, the erosion of genetic diversity in domesticated plants and animals, the destruction of traditional human livelihoods, and the …
Why are biological weapons used?
Sometimes known as “germ warfare,” biological weapons involve the use of toxins or infectious agents that are biological in origin. These agents are used to incapacitate or kill humans, animals, or plants as part of a war effort. In effect, biological warfare is using non-human life to disrupt — or end — human life.
How do I report bioterrorism?
Syndromic Surveillance For a complete list of Bioterrorism agents, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. Physicians: To report Bioterrorism to the Department of Health, please immediately contact the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Administration at (202) 671-4222.
How many biological weapons are there?
How Are Biological Agents Delivered and Detected? Although there are more than 1,200 biological agents that could be used to cause illness or death, relatively few possess the necessary characteristics to make them ideal candidates for biological warfare or terrorism agents.
What makes a good biological weapon?
Characteristics. Intrinsic features of biological agents which influence their potential for use as weapons include: infectivity; virulence; toxicity; pathogenicity; incubation period; transmissibility; lethality; and stability. The virulence of an agent reflects the relative severity of disease produced by that agent.
How is bioterrorism spread?
Biological agents can be spread through the air, through water, or in food. Terrorists may use biological agents because they can be extremely difficult to detect and do not cause illness for several hours to several days.
What do you mean by bio weapon?
Biological weapons are microorganisms like virus, bacteria, fungi, or other toxins that are produced and released deliberately to cause disease and death in humans, animals or plants. Bioterrorism attacks could also result in an epidemic, for example if Ebola or Lassa viruses were used as the biological agents.