As a potential biological weapon, influenza has several advantages over smallpox, including ready accessibility, write Mohammad Madjid, MD, and three colleagues.
What is the biological cause of the flu?
The flu is caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs.
Does the flu virus contain DNA?
All influenza viruses consist of single-stranded RNA as opposed to dual-stranded DNA.
What is flu classified?
Influenza is caused by several closely related viruses in the family Orthomyxoviridae, an RNA virus group. Influenza viruses are categorized as types A, B, C, and D. These major types generally produce similar symptoms but are unrelated antigenically. The infection with one type confers no immunity against the others.
What are chemical and biological weapons?
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. The military use of chemicals, bacteria, viruses, toxins, or poisons to injure or kill soldiers or civilians is called chemical and biological warfare. The means by which the harmful substances are delivered to the enemy are called chemical and biological weapons.
Which of the following is used as bioweapon?
Solution : Bacillus anthracis is used as a bioweapon.
Is the flu A virus or bacteria?
Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
Do viruses use mRNA to replicate?
DNA viruses need only to generate mRNA and thus replication involves strategies that are familiar in cell biology: transcription of mRNA from dsDNA and replication of dsDNA within the cell nucleus. Many use host enzymes for these processes, while some larger viruses code for their own enzymes.
Is the flu vaccine genetically modified?
Instead, recombinant vaccines are created synthetically. To make a recombinant vaccine, flu scientists first obtain the gene that contains the genetic instructions for making a surface protein called hemagglutinin (HA) found on influenza viruses.
Why does the flu mutate so much?
Shift can happen if a flu virus from an animal population gains the ability to infect humans. Such animal-origin viruses can contain HA or HA/NA combinations that are different enough from human viruses that most people do not have immunity to the new (e.g., novel) virus.
Can you get flu a twice?
While two flu outbreaks overlap one another, raising your possibilities of catching the flu infection twice, the chances of you catching the flu virus twice may still be rare.
When did the flu originate?
Records show that the flu has been around for at least 1,500 years. The history of influenza begins with Hippocrates (5th century BC) who first reported that an influenza-like illness spread from Northern Greece to the islands south and elsewhere.
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 …
Is virus a biological agent?
Biological agents include bacteria, viruses, fungi, other microorganisms and their associated toxins. They have the ability to adversely affect human health in a variety of ways, ranging from relatively mild, allergic reactions to serious medical conditions—even death.
Which country has the most chemical weapons?
State declaration: Russia possessed the world’s largest chemical weapons stockpile: approximately 40,000 metric tons of chemical agent, including VX, sarin, soman, mustard, lewisite, mustard-lewisite mixtures, and phosgene. Russia has declared its arsenal to the OPCW and commenced destruction.
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).
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.
When was the first biological weapon used?
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.
Can the flu turn into a bacterial infection?
Up to 75% of patients infected with influenza who go on to acquire pneumonia are confirmed to have a secondary bacterial infection. This, in turn, makes bacterial pneumonia one of the most common causes of sepsis and influenza-associated death.
What bacteria causes flu?
pneumoniae, H. influenzae, and S. aureus are the most commonly reported bacteria associated with co/secondary infections during influenza pandemics since the late 1800’s.
Is pneumonia a virus or bacteria?
The two most common causes of pneumonia are from viral pathogens or bacterial pathogens. Some types of bacterial pneumonia can be prevented with vaccines, such as the aggressive bacteria Strep. Pneumoniae, prevented with the pneumococcal vaccine.
Do viruses inject DNA or RNA?
When a virus infects a host cell, it injects its DNA or RNA into the host and takes control. If the host cell makes many copies of the virus (replicates viral DNA), the new viruses explode from the cell and kill the host.
Is influenza A mRNA virus?
The nucleus is the location of all influenza virus RNA synthesis – both of the capped, polyadenylated messenger RNA (mRNA) that acts as the template for host-cell translation of viral proteins, and of the vRNA segments that form the genomes of progeny virus.
Does a virus have DNA and RNA?
Viruses are smaller and simpler in construction than unicellular microorganisms, and they contain only one type of nucleic acid—either DNA or RNA—never both.
Why is it difficult to create a vaccine for the flu?
In some years certain influenza viruses may not circulate until later in the influenza season, making it difficult to prepare a candidate vaccine virus in time for vaccine production. This can make vaccine virus selection very challenging.