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.
What is an example of a biological weapon?
Historical biological weapons programmes have included efforts to produce: aflatoxin; anthrax; botulinum toxin; foot-and-mouth disease; glanders; plague; Q fever; rice blast; ricin; Rocky Mountain spotted fever; smallpox; and tularaemia, among others.
What’s considered a biological weapon?
A biological weapon is generally composed of a biological agent or toxin (bacteria, mycoplasma, rickettsiae, viruses, yeasts, fungi), additives to assist with dissemination and stability, and a delivery system.
What are the three types of biological weapons?
The United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) has divided the agents which can be used as biological weapons into three categories, Category A, B, and C. Though these agents are rarely seen in the United States, we must prepare for them because they pose the greatest risk to our national security.
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.
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 is the difference between chemical and biological weapons?
Chemical weapons – often referred to as gases – suffocate the victim or cause massive burning. Biological weapons are slower acting, spreading a disease such as anthrax or smallpox through a population before the first signs are noticed.
How many biological weapons are there?
Although there are more than 1,200 biological agents that could be used to cause illness or death, relatively few possess the necessary characteristics to make them ideal candidates for biological warfare or terrorism agents.
What was the first 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.
How does the CDC categorize biologic agents?
Bioterrorism Agent Categories Bioterrorism agents can be separated into three categories, depending on how easily they can be spread and the severity of illness or death they cause. Category A agents are considered the highest risk and Category C agents are those that are considered emerging threats for disease.
What is an example of bioterrorism?
A biological attack, or bioterrorism, is the intentional release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs that can sicken or kill people, livestock, or crops. Bacillus anthracis, the bacteria that causes anthrax, is one of the most likely agents to be used in a biological attack.
Was polio a biological weapon?
The polio virus itself is not an effective biological weapon, but the experiment shows the tremendous potential of genetic engineering and also highlights its problems, particularly when applied to smallpox.
Which country has most biological 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.
Is smallpox a biological weapon?
Smallpox was also used as a biological weapon during the French and Indian Wars (1754–1767) by the commander of Fort Pitt. Soldiers distributed blankets that had been used by smallpox patients with the intent of initiating outbreaks among American Indians.
What are the three types of unconventional weapons?
While these examples may not instantly spring to mind when you think of a weapon, in many parts of the world, pipe bombs, gasoline bombs, or poisonous gases are real weapons. These are known as unconventional weapons. Other examples of unconventional weapons include nuclear, biological, and chemical agents.
What type of biological weapons does Russia have?
Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) Yersinia pestis (plague) Francisella tularensis (tularemia) Burkholderia mallei (glanders)
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.
Which countries used biological weapons?
These include: Iraq, Iran, Libya, China, Russia and North Korea. Although the world knows little about these programs, an American assessment says China has an advanced bioweapons program. It also has an advanced chemical warfare program, that includes development, production and weaponisation capabilities.
What type of weapon is Ebola?
Ebola as a Biological Weapons Agent As a biological weapons agent, the Ebola virus is feared for its high case-fatality rate. Because of its rarity, the disease may not be diagnosed corrected at the onset of an outbreak.
What is an example of a chemical weapon?
Nerve gas, tear gas and pepper spray are three modern examples of chemical weapons. Lethal unitary chemical agents and munitions are extremely volatile and they constitute a class of hazardous chemical weapons that have been stockpiled by many nations.
Which of the following is one of the four categories of chemical weapons?
Military planners generally categorize chemical agents into at least four classes: nerve, blister, choking, and blood agents.
What are the types of chemical weapons?
- Nerve agents (such as sarin, soman, cyclohexylsarin, tabun, VX)
- Vesicating or blistering agents (such as mustards, lewisite)
- Choking agents or lung toxicants (such as chlorine, phosgene, diphosgene)
- Incapacitating agents (such as anticholinergic compounds)
What is biological chemical threat?
Terror tactics may include biologic, chemical, nuclear, or explosive events. Biologic. Bioterrorism is the intentional release of biological agents to cause illness or death in humans, animals, or plants. These agents may be bacteria, fungi, toxins, or viruses. They may be naturally occurring or human-modified.
Which of the following are characteristics of biological weapons?
The most potent and desirable bioweapons should possess four main characteristic features: low visibility, high potency, substantial accessibility, and relatively easy delivery. Biological weapons are economically cheaper to produce and can cause mass casualties, and these factors enhance the threat caused by them.