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As many as 17 nations, including several the U. S. State Department considers "state sponsors of terrorism," have developed lethal biological agents as weapons of war. The list of bacteria, viruses, and toxins explored by these weapons programs is vast -- running in the dozens. We focus on eight agents that may pose the greatest threats. Most of these deadly pathogens are difficult to obtain, process, and most critically, deploy to cause mass casualties. Yet we must understand these agents -- how they would be used and the diseases they trigger -- to prepare for even the most unlikely bioterrorist attack. (Nova, 2001) Some of these agents include anthrax, cholera, botulism, the plague and smallpox. Of these, the popularity of anthrax could be explained by the fact that there is a vaccine for it, so that it can be safely handled by someone who has been vaccinated. Also, it has a relatively short incubation period, and, while all types can be treated with antibiotics, the inhaled version is often confused with the flue and by the time it is diagnosed, it usually proves fatal. (Nova, 2001)
Although subgroups Anthracis and Cereus A could not be differentiated with 16S rRNA sequences (), utilization of subgroup-specific variations in 23S rRNA genes helped to resolve this problem ( and ). Here we also demonstrated differentiation of isolates from subgroups Mycoides A and Mycoides B as an example of the usefulness of 23S rRNA variations for identification of different subgroups ( and ).
Bacillus Anthracis is a very large, gram positive sporeforming rod.
Intro: The Anthrax vaccine is a mandatory shot for military; while some people are willing to take the shot to save their lives, others believe if they take it, it will ruin theirs.
Since the cease-fire of the Gulf War, the Joint Chiefs of Staff have discovered that anthrax has become the number one biological threat to our troops.
The disease, Anthrax, is very deadly but it is rare.
The use of bacteriological agents in an armed conflict can be dated back to 1346, at Kaffa (now Feodossia) where the bodies of Tartar soldiers who died from the plague were thrown over the walls of the besieged city. It is hypothesized by some medical historians that the action resulted in the infamous pandemic that spread over the entire continent of Europe from Genoa, via the Mediterranean ports. USAMARIID (2001) Since that time, various forms of biological warfare have been used in many countries. Boris Yeltsin acknowledged in a press conference, prior to meeting with President Bush in the summer of 1992, Washington, D. C., that an incident in Sverdlovsk where civilians came down with a "mysterious illness," resulting in many fatalities was in fact a massive biological warfare accident involving an aerosol of anthrax spores. Presumptive evidence acquired by United Nations Biological Warfare Inspection Team in 1992 indicated that Iraq could have been in the early stages of developing an offensive BW capability. On-site inspections revealed several laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment that could have been used for agent production. No evidence, to date, has been established for munitions development and/or agent weapons. The experience of the U. N. team emphasizes the difficulty of locating a Smoking Gun relative to BW programs. This type of program is much easier to hide from inspection than either chemical or nuclear programs. USAMARIID (2001)
Some of these mechanisms sometimes involve beneficial mutations in a bacterium that allow it survive antibiotics but more frequently involve a transfer of genes from other bacteria, even bacteria of different species....
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Frequent boosters are necessary to maintain resistance to Anthrax.
Biological weapons can be described as a weapon that are using material such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, toxin, or other biological agents that can be utilized against human, plants, or animals (Schneider, 2014).
Bacillus Anthracis spores also may live in soil for years.
This was justified to counter an increasing threat from hostile countries and possible terrorist groups that now or in the future will likely possess the capability of fielding weaponized anthrax spores as a Biological Weapon.
There are three types of anthrax infections.
It is difficulty in a country where is a top priority to efficiently fight these and other methods of terrorism. People should not have to give up their freedom, however they also need to be protected. It is possible, for instance, that it may become necessary for people to receive mandatory vaccinations. Right now, to provide more intense screening of packages shipped through the mail, people are required to provide identification when shipping packages from their local post office. Mail is delayed because of the anthrax scares. This is an inconvenience few would complain about. Hopefully, a plan will be devised for maximum safety at minimum loss of freedom.
Anthrax is the disease caused by the Bacillus anthracis bacteria.
It did not take long for man to discover the effective and deadly tactic of Bioterrorism, which is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria or other germs used to cause illness or death in people, animals, or plants.
Smallpox, ricin and anthrax are all biological weapons.
As far as the governments capabilities for handling these threats, on a small-scale, the government does have large numbers of antibiotics on hand to treat people once they have become infected. However, there is certainly not enough vaccine available to pre-inoculate people so that they do not have to worry about becoming infected. Even if they did have enough vaccine for anthrax, there are many other diseases that could be used in biological warfare, and vaccines, if available, would have to be given for all of these. Should we be attacked on a large scale, i. e. through a missile containing a large number of spores, the devastation would be of pandemic proportions if there were not enough antibiotics available to treat everyone. The United States government is taking the threat of bioterrorism seriously, however there is a long way to go before it can be said that we are fully prepared.
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