Viruses, Plagues, and History, written by Michael Oldstone, is an insightful and highly educational book that details the history of, that’s right, viruses and plagues. Through typically dry, yet engaging prose, Oldstone recounts what seems like all of it while simultaneously bringing to light the contributions of those brave scientists who asked themselves, “why.” He focuses his attention on some of the most notable viruses such as smallpox, yellow fever, measles, polio, and later he focuses on more contemporary battles against disease.
For example, if a large city such as Chicago was to be exposed to a Category A pathogen such as smallpox, an extraordinary demand would be placed upon the medical institutions and their staffs. If a large enough area was to be affected, it would require some sort of quarantine by the military, in order to control the spread of the virus. This action in itself may cause a rise in fear and lead to an overwhelming panic from the people in the area. A complete population terror could arise quickly; causing people to do things such as overgeneralize symptoms and act irrationally in the time of distress. So not only is there a physical stressor present with the use of bio-agents, there is a psychological one as well. It is very difficult to determine when these so called bioterrorism attacks will occur, as they are very hard to predict. However, with all the advancement in research and the number of nations jumping on the bandwagon, it can be assumed more will occur. This means that there should be some type pre-planning done in order to handle a bio-attack
Before the 20th century, the use of biological agents took three major forms, Deliberate contamination of food and water with poisonous or contagious material using of microbes, biological toxins, animals, or plants (living or dead) in a weapon system, using of biologically inoculated fabrics and persons. Now a day sophisticated bacteriological and virological techniques allowed the production of significant stockpiles of weaponized bio-agents such as; Anthrax, Brucella, Tularemia, Smallpox, Viral hemorrhagic fevers, Botulinum, Ricin, (Legvold, 2012).The most likely route of dissemination is an aerosolized release of 1-5mm particles. Other methods of dissemination include oral, intentional contamination of food/water supply, percutaneous,
The three categories of biological agents are category A, B, and C. the biological agents under the categories “pose the greatest threats to national security” (). That is due to their ease of transmission, even for the high rate of death they can cause. An example of category A is anthrax, while in category, B is ricin, and category C has influenza. Biological agents enter the body when they are inhaled, eaten, or absorbed, and they can also quickly multiply and passed from one person to another. With anthrax, the way it can be prevented is by vaccines and by taking antibiotics. There are two types of antibiotics that offer protection against anthrax. Now ways to prevent ricin is by moving away from the area that ricin was released,
Through found research, there is a vast amount of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms that occur naturally and man-made. These biological agents have the potential to negatively affect the human body, varying from mild reaction, to even death. While each individual organism is wide-spread throughout our globe, they can be traced back to water, soil, plants, and animals. Biological agents should be treated as potential threats due to the rapid reproduction and minimal required resources to sustain life.
The recorded history of warfare is filled with the use of biological weapons and agents to further the cause of belligerents. Today we face a threat that it is feared will make use of biological weaponry to become, what is termed, as bioterrorists. Bioterrorism is an intentional release of bacteria, viruses and other biological agents with the objective to cause diseases and/or death within a target population, animals and/or crops or other vegetation. Most of the agents used as bio weapons are widely spread in the nature, but some of their deadly features are intentionally strengthened or modified to increase their capability to inflict diseases, to increase their resistance to drugs and disinfectants, or/and enhance their stability and ways
This time I would like to discuss an organism which has a potential to be used as a biological agent during warfare or in case of a terrorist attack. Plague has been used as a weapon when Tartar forces catapulted plague-infected dead bodies into the city of Caffa during the Middle Ages (Riedel, 2004). A nonmotile, gram-negative coccobacillus called Yersinia pestis spread by a vector called Xenopsylla cheopis also known as the Oriental rat flea and carried to humans by a host such as a rat. Furthermore, plague classified as a Category A Agents which is on the highest priority list (CDC. 2018).
Since a biological weapon of mass destruction is more probable, we must focus on making it extremely difficult for terrorists to get hold of such agents. Of course, we must make sure that we are not limiting the knowledge of the good guys as well. There has to be some fine median between the two needs.
In today’s modern society, natural disasters, war, and diseases all cause havoc on the human species. War and other civil conflicts are one of the biggest problems in some parts of the country. With war, any sort of weapon is able to be used, even though the United Nations have put up international laws forbidding certain types of weapons. One of these laws, outlaws the use of biological warfare. There has been many famous examples of biological warfare in America’s history. Bioterrorism is related to biological warfare, but they also have many differences. Bioterrorism is used mainly to induce fear and cause the disruption of modern societies and governments by using bacteria, viruses, or other germs to attack people or livestock. This form
Biosecurity is set to keep a close eye on biological agents that can be used as weapons of war as well as protect humans from said agents (Mandal 2014). Over time, biosecurity has increased in the eye of the public as good procedures taken to ensure the safety of the human race. Biosecurity has implemented wise techniques into the agricultural world playing a very important role in the sustenance of life for human beings. According to WHO Biosecurity measures, it defines the difference in systems of health: animal, human, and plant. Animal health is threatened when a pathogenic agent produces “adverse consequences on the importation”; this can be interpreted as realizing that there
Biological agents are living organisms or products of living organisms, and can be found everywhere. Although, they may be useful in life, they could also be source of threat to human health (European Agency for Safety and Health at work, 2016). They include bacteria, fungi and viruses and their metabolites, as well as parasitic worms and plants. Biological agents can enter the body by absorption through eyes, skin, wounds (needle stick injuries, bites from animals etc) or mucous membranes and by inhalation. In a situation of favourable living conditions, fungi, viruses and bacteria reproduces very fast within a short period of time. And some of these biological agents can be passed from one individual to the other. Biological agents are
As the development of new diseases continues to emerge worldwide there has been an increase in concerns regarding the importance of acquiring new methods to detect and help prevent the spread of infectious diseases. With this in mind, this study examines and analyzes ways that disease origins could lead to the spread of an infectious outbreak throughout the human population.
Moreover, when one thinks of terrorist attacks, the first things he/she may think of are crashing planes, nuclear missiles, and bombs. He/she may not, however, think of using microorganisms, such as anthrax, to start a biological warfare. “In the United States the incidence of naturally acquired anthrax is extremely rare i.e, 1 to 2 cases of cutaneous disease per year. In the year 2001 intentional contamination lead to 22 cases of anthrax (11 cutaneous, 11 inhalational) in the United States. Therefore, the spores of Bacillus anthracis are found to be a chosen weapon of bioterrorism (Saraswathi, Padmavathy, Mamatha, et al, p 2044). B. anthracis was placed in postal letters, where they would be released
In order to have a more concrete idea of the bioterrorism and the reason as to why there are bound to be the legal
Environmental health is “the collective interactions of humans with the environment and the short-term and long-term health consequences of those interactions” (Core Concepts 572). Environmental pollutants contribute to infectious and chronic diseases and the growing population and technological advances are increasing the damage on the environment. The large population is a key factor in chemical pollution, global warming, and thinning of the ozone layer. Food, land, water, and energy are in high demand and not all sustainable. With our medical care system as good as it is, people are living longer and besides making sure there is family planning