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Bioterrorism: Background and Significance. History of Biological Warfare 1346Siege of Kaffa; plague1346Siege of Kaffa; plague 1763French and Indian War;

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Presentation on theme: "Bioterrorism: Background and Significance. History of Biological Warfare 1346Siege of Kaffa; plague1346Siege of Kaffa; plague 1763French and Indian War;"— Presentation transcript:

1 Bioterrorism: Background and Significance

2 History of Biological Warfare 1346Siege of Kaffa; plague1346Siege of Kaffa; plague 1763French and Indian War; smallpox1763French and Indian War; smallpox WW IGerman program; anthrax, glandersWW IGerman program; anthrax, glanders 1925Geneva protocol bans biological weapons1925Geneva protocol bans biological weapons WW IIJapanese program; anthrax, plague, cholera, shigella WW IIJapanese program; anthrax, plague, cholera, shigella

3 History of Biological Warfare (cont.) 1941George W. Merck named U.S. civilian head of Chemical Warfare Service later changed to War Research Service1941George W. Merck named U.S. civilian head of Chemical Warfare Service later changed to War Research Service 1946 U.S. announces its involvement in bioweapons research1946 U.S. announces its involvement in bioweapons research 1969 Nixon eliminates offensive biological warfare program1969 Nixon eliminates offensive biological warfare program

4 1972Biological Weapons Convention1972Biological Weapons Convention 1979Accidental release of B. anthracis spores at bioweapons research center, Sverdlovsk, U.S.S.R1979Accidental release of B. anthracis spores at bioweapons research center, Sverdlovsk, U.S.S.R Scientists from the former U.S.S.R. involved in biological weapons research defect to the West Scientists from the former U.S.S.R. involved in biological weapons research defect to the West History of Biological Warfare (cont.)

5 Domestic Biological Terrorism 1984Rajneeshee cult members contaminate salad bar with Salmonella typhimurium in Oregon1984Rajneeshee cult members contaminate salad bar with Salmonella typhimurium in Oregon 1992Ricin attack planned by Minnesota militia1992Ricin attack planned by Minnesota militia 2001 Anthrax releases in FL, DC, NY, NJ2001 Anthrax releases in FL, DC, NY, NJ

6 Biological Terrorism Use of biological agents to intentionally produce disease or intoxication in susceptible populations - humans, animals, or plants - to meet terrorist aimsUse of biological agents to intentionally produce disease or intoxication in susceptible populations - humans, animals, or plants - to meet terrorist aims

7 Advantages of Biologics As Weapons May be easier, faster to produce and more cost-effective than other weaponsMay be easier, faster to produce and more cost-effective than other weapons Potential for dissemination over large geographic areaPotential for dissemination over large geographic area High morbidity and mortalityHigh morbidity and mortality Creates panicCreates panic Person-to-person transmission possible (smallpox, plague, and viral hemorrhagic fever)Person-to-person transmission possible (smallpox, plague, and viral hemorrhagic fever) Difficult to diagnose and/or treatDifficult to diagnose and/or treat

8 Ideal Characteristics for Potential Biological Terrorism Agent Inexpensive and easy to produceInexpensive and easy to produce Can be aerosolized (1-10 µm)Can be aerosolized (1-10 µm) Survives sunlight, drying, heatSurvives sunlight, drying, heat Cause lethal or disabling diseaseCause lethal or disabling disease Person-to-person transmissionPerson-to-person transmission No effective treatment or prophylaxisNo effective treatment or prophylaxis

9 Rajneeshee Cult, Salmonella - Oregon, 1984

10 MN Patriots Council, Douglas County, 1991

11 Sarin Gas Attack, Tokyo Subway, 1995

12 Operation Desert Storm

13 Ken Alibek - U.S.S.R. Program

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15 Biological Agents Ranking System Public Health impact criteria based on: Morbidity and mortality Delivery potential Public perception (fear, civil disruption) Public health preparedness needs

16 Level A Bioterrorism Agents Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) Smallpox (Variola major) Plague (Yersinia pestis) Botulism toxin (Clostridium botulinum) Tularemia (Francisella tularensis) Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHF)

17 Other Potential Bioterrorism Agents Brucellosis (Brucella species) Glanders (Burkholderia mallei) Q fever (Coxiella burnetii) Cholera (Vibrio cholera) Salmonella sp. and Shigella sp. Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE) Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B Ricin (from castor beans) T-2 Mycotoxins (Note that this is not a complete listing)

18 Estimated Casualties From a Hypothetical Bioterrorism Release* Agent Rift Valley Fever TyphusBrucellosisPlague Q Fever TularemiaAnthrax Downwind Reach (km) Dead 1002, ,500504,50024,000 Sick** 10,00030,00027,00027,00060,00060,00060,000 *50 kg by aircraft, 2 km line upwind of a city of 500,000 ** Includes deaths

19 Investigation of Potential Bioterrorism Incident ClinicalClinical EpidemiologyEpidemiology LaboratoryLaboratory

20 Symptoms of Potential Bioterrorism Diseases - Challenges of Detection AnthraxPlague Q fever TularemiaSmallpox Agent MediastinitisPneumonia Pleuritis, hepatitis PneumoniaPustules Clinical Effect } HeadacheFeverMalaiseCough Initial Symptoms

21 Biological Terrorism? Epidemiologic Clues Tight cluster of casesTight cluster of cases High infection rateHigh infection rate Unusual or localized geographyUnusual or localized geography Unusual clinical presentationUnusual clinical presentation Unusual time of yearUnusual time of year Dead animalsDead animals

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