Deadliest Outbreak: Sverkivsk

867 WordsJun 15, 20184 Pages
East of Moscow in 1979 the first reports emerged about the epidemic in the Soviet city of Sverdlovsk. Many speculate it to be intestinal, an accident caused by the consumption of contaminated meat. Others believe it to be some invisible killer germ that may have been caused by some sort of industrial spillage. The United States administration attributed it to inhalation of spores that may or may not have been accidental. “Some pathologists came to believe that something else was happening so they carried out dozens of autopsies and found the anthrax bacteria in the lungs and lymph nodes of those who had died, indicating it was airborne” (Hoffman, 1998). If this is the case then it would be in violation of the Biological Weapons…show more content…
Frankfurt Germany October 1979, a Russian newspaper read that” there was a major germ incident leading to an estimated death toll of thousands in Russia due to an explosion earlier that year in April” (Wampler & Blankton, 2001) . The newspaper stated that,” in the city of Sverdlovsk, there was a release of a large amount of anthrax spores that was released in the air.” Tensioned fared as newspapers worldwide, ran stories on this catastrophic event and caused awareness on an international scale. Given the past history of the United States and Soviet Union the anthrax explanation seemed awfully plausible. As these stories continued to arise, authorities began to speculate that we were headed back towards a new Cold War especially in the wake of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. This also meant that the Soviet Union was in violation of the ban on the use of biological weapons imposed by the 1972 Biological Warfare Convention that both the United States and the Soviet Union had signed, if proving to be true. The Biological Warfare Convention has remained essentially a good faith pact among nations, but it is because of this that research team worldwide has become involved with investigating this event. But the Soviet Union countered these allegations aggressively, by claiming that the deaths were caused as a result due to the manufacturing of tainted meat. The possibility of this being actual fact raises grave doubts, which further provoked the

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