Most of the current R&D on detection of biological weapons employs nucleic acid- or antibody-based probes combined with optical, most often fluorescence, transduction, or it involves adapting separation-based technology like mass spectrometry.
What are symptoms of biological warfare?
Results: The six most common presentations reviewed are: 1) respiratory tract symptoms; 2) hemorrhagic fevers; 3) meningitis and encephalitis; 4) flaccid paralyses; 5) fever syndromes with rash; and 6) diarrheal syndromes.
What to do if there is a biological attack?
Wash yourself with soap and water and put on clean clothes. Contact authorities and seek medical assistance. You may be advised to stay away from others or even to quarantine. If your symptoms match those described and you are in the group considered at risk, immediately seek emergency medical attention.
What is an example of a biological attack?
Examples of biological warfare during the past millennium Similarly, the smallpox epidemic among Indians could have been caused by contact with settlers. In addition, yellow fever is spread only by infected mosquitoes. During their conquest of South America, the Spanish might also have used smallpox as a weapon.
What are some common biological weapons?
Along with smallpox, anthrax, plague, botulism, and tularemia, hemorrhagic fever viruses are among six agents identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the most likely to be used as biological weapons. Many VHFs can cause severe, life-threatening disease with high fatality rates.
When was the last time biological weapons were used?
The last known incident of using plague corpses for biological warfare may have occurred in 1710, when Russian forces attacked Swedish troops by flinging plague-infected corpses over the city walls of Reval (Tallinn) (although this is disputed).
Can biological weapons be cured?
For many biological weapons, there is no specific treatment or vaccine. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.
How are biological weapons deployed?
This can be achieved in a number of ways, such as: via aerosol sprays; in explosive devices; via food or water; or absorbed or injected into skin. Because some pathogens are less robust than others, the type of pathogen used will define how it can be deployed.
How is biological warfare spread?
Biological warfare agents are most likely to be dispersed as aerosols to be more easily spread amongst large populations. However, certain agents can be spread from person to person or by vectors, ingestion, direct contact, or other methods.
How can you protect yourself against biological weapons?
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 do you treat biological weapons?
People are given vaccines, antibiotics, or antiviral drugs depending on the specific infectious organism involved. Sometimes people who have been in contact with the affected people are given preventive treatment. For many biological weapons, there is no specific treatment or vaccine.
What countries have biological weapons?
Seventeen countries have had or are suspected of currently having a biological weapons programme. They include Canada, China, Cuba, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Libya, North Korea, Russia, South Africa, Syria, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
What are the three types of biological weapons?
- viral hemorrhagic fevers.
How do you find biological agents?
Current techniques for the detection of biological agents are based on the analysis and/or collection of aerosols. Point samples of soil or aerosol must undergo microscopy and culture methods for a definitive identification and count of the biological agent organisms present.
What viruses have been weaponized?
Many viral agents have been studied and/or weaponized, including some of the Bunyaviridae (especially Rift Valley fever virus), Ebolavirus, many of the Flaviviridae (especially Japanese encephalitis virus), Machupo virus, Coronaviruses (especially SARS-Cov-2 that causes COVID-19), Marburg virus, Variola virus, and …
What is the deadliest bioweapon?
Botulinum toxin Botulinum is relatively easy to produce and has extreme potency and lethality. It can be distributed via aerosol or by contamination of water and food supplies. A gram of Botulinum toxin can kill more than a million people if inhaled.
What is considered a biological exposure?
Potential exposures include needle sticks, animal bites, aerosol exposures, and other incidents potentially resulting in disease from a biological agent.
What is the most effective way to disperse biological agents?
A line source technique is the most effective dispersal means for biological agents. For example, this may involve a truck or air sprayer moving perpendicular to the wind during an inversion (when air temperature increases with altitude and holds surface air and pollutants down).
Are biological weapons easy to obtain?
The technology associated with the manufacture of biological weapons is relatively inexpensive, and because it is similar to that used in vaccine production facilities, it is easy to obtain [ 17 ]. The microbial agents needed for most biological weapons are widely available [ 18 ].
Does the US still have biological weapons?
End of the program (1969–1973) President Richard M. Nixon issued his “Statement on Chemical and Biological Defense Policies and Programs” on November 25, 1969 in a speech from Fort Detrick. The statement officially ended all U.S. offensive biological weapons programs.
Does America have chemical weapons?
As of 2017, only North Korea and the United States are confirmed to have remaining stockpiles of chemical weapons.
How do you identify bioterrorism?
- An unusual age distribution for common diseases. An increase in what appears to be a chickenpox-like illness among Adult patients, but which might be smallpox.
- A large number of cases of acute flaccid paralysis with prominent bulbar palsies, suggestive of a release of botulinum toxin.
What are three types of bioterrorism?
Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) Botulism (Clostridium botulinum toxin) Plague (Yersinia pestis)
What is the earliest known use of a biological weapon?
One of the first recorded uses of biological warfare occurred in 1347, when Mongol forces are reported to have catapulted plague-infested bodies over the walls into the Black Sea port of Caffa (now Feodosiya, Ukraine), at that time a Genoese trade centre in the Crimean Peninsula.
Could you make a genetically targeted weapon?
It appears that ethnic specific biological weapons may indeed become possible in the near future.” Rather than specifically triggering the toxic effects of organisms such as anthrax, the Sunshine project warned that weapons based on a new medical technique called RNA interference could shut down vital genes.