Bioterrorism and White Powder

912 Words4 Pages
Bioterrorism and White Powder Introduction During its 2002 symposium on the future of public health, the Harvard School of Public Health recalled several incidents that show anthrax to be a genuine bioterrorism threat: 1979 incidents of inhalation of anthrax in Sverdlovsk (Hamburg, et al., 2002, p. 131); the deliberate release of anthrax only weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks (Hamburg, et al., 2002, p. 124); additional incidents of anthrax being deliberately released in 2001 (Hamburg, et al., 2002, p. 127). In addition, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a 2006 report mentioning a 2004 anthrax incident in the Dirksen Senate Office Building (CNA Corporation, 2006, p. 1). In addition, there are numerous reports of white powder being received by business and governmental officials. Consequently, there is a realistic possibility of an anthrax (or Ricin) bioterrorist attack in the future and the average individual should know how to respond if he/she receives mysterious white powder in an envelope. Steps to Discerning Whether White Powder is Anthrax Mysterious white powder carrying the anthrax/ricin bacillus could result in "inhalation anthrax," which is nearly always fatal without treatment (Grabenstein, 2003, p. 714). Due to the use of ricin in the past and the real threat of its use in the future, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services commissioned a report outlining an effective response to both "overt" (e.g., white powder in an

More about Bioterrorism and White Powder

Open Document