Bio / Chemical

General | Ricin | Anthrax | Botulinum Toxin | Plague | Smallpox | Tularemia | Food Supply

General Information:

CBC: Biowar Dictionary 
CBC's glossary of bio / chemical warfare words and phrases. This glossary accessorizes the CBC feature "Red Lies," about the 1979 USSR biological warfare "accident" in Sverdlovsk, Russia.

Updated 2007 - AMA: Policies and Resources in Response to Terrorism
Medical Preparedness for Terrorism and Other Disasters, Medical Preparedness for Terrorism and Other Disasters, and Organized Medicine's Role in the National Response to Terrorism: 

10/21/2001 - Chat transcript: Dr Jeremy McAnulty on biological warfare 
MSN and 60 Minutes sponsor a live interview with infectious diseases expert from NSW Health, Dr Jeremy McAnulty, discussing the latest biological threats.

10/18/2001 - NPR: History of Biological Warfare 
National Public Radio's timeline and details about anthrax, and other organisms used for centuries as weapons of war.

CDC: Bioterrorism Agents/Diseases A to Z
The Centers for Disease Control's official facts about various diseases which may be used as weapons of mass destruction. Facts include symptoms, causes, and cures.

11/13/2011 - Nova: Bioterror Transcript
Author William Broad of The New York Times thinks bio-warfare and bio-terrorism may fast become our worst national nightmare.

1/17/2000 - Preventing the Use of Biological Weapons: Improving Response Should Prevention Fail
This article presents an overview of the nature and scope of the challenges posed by biological weapons, and offers ways by which the infectious diseases professional community might address the challenges of biological weapons and bioterrorism.

JAMA: Clinical Recognition and Management of Patients Exposed to Biological Warfare Agents 
The Journal of American Medical Association's section about various germs which can be used as weapons of bioterrorism, including anthrax, plague, Q fever, tularemia, smallpox, viral encephalitides, hemorrhagic fevers, botulinum toxins, and staphylococcal enterotoxin B, as well as delving into the epidemiology of a BW or terrorist attack.

10/16/2001: CNN: Preparing for the Range of Bioterrorism Possibilities
Ken Alibek, probably the world's most knowledgeable authority on bio-warfare, in a straight-to-the-point interview about the subject. This is a transcript of a CNN interview.

Telemedicine.org: Biological Warfare and its Cutaneous Manifestations 
Two military experts discuss biological warfare, cutaneous manifestations, hemorrhagic fever, mycotoxins, poxviruses, plague, and melioidosis.

eMedicine: Warfare - Historic Aspects of Biological Warfare Agents 
Detailed report by a doctor at the Center for Strategic Analysis, University of Texas at Austin, co-authored by numerous other experts.

Field Manual: Treatment of Biological Warfare Agent Casualties
Signed by the Secretary of the Army, Secretary of the Air Force, Chief of Naval Operations, and Commandant of the Marine Corps, this field manual details treatment for casualties due to various biological agents.

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Ricin: 

Cornell: Toxic Agents: Ricin 
Ricin is one of the most poisonous naturally occuring substances known.

eMedicine: CBRNE - Ricin 
Last Updated: June 7, 2010. Agent of biological warfare and weapon of mass destriction, Ricin is widely available and easily produced.

Wisconsin Department of Health and Safety: Ricin Poisoning
Official Wisconsin Department of Health and Safety site offers this fact sheet.

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Anthrax:

CDC: Anthrax: A Possible Case History
Published in the summer of 1999 on CDC's very own site, this terrifying scenario of whata bioterrorist anthrax attack would look like makes one wonder how on earth CDC was so unprepared for the relatively minor attack we experienced in October and November 2001, more than 2 years later!

Anthrax: 10 Things You Should Know 
Ten questions and answers about anthrax are provided courtesy of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.

Timeline: Anthrax Through the Ages 
CNN traces anthrax from 1500 BC, when they claim it was the fifth and sixth Egyptian plagues of Exodus.

Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies: Anthrax 
The Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies, who works with the CDC, published this anthrax page in 1999, and mentions its possibilities for bioterrorist use.

JAMA: Anthrax as a Biological Weapon 
The Journal of American Medical Association's page about anthrax as a weapon of bioterrorism, its history as a current threat, epidemiology, symptoms, and methods of treatment. 

ABC News: When Anthrax Was Let Loose Before
What we learned from the Soviet Compound 19 anthrax "accident" of 1979. On the bright side ,in that incident, no one under the age of 24 came down with the disease.

5/26/1998 - Heritage Foundation: Defending America Against Bioterrorism Properly entitled "Microbes and Mass Casualties: Defending America Against Bioterrorism," this page delves into the likelihood that genetically altered disease-causing microbes could overwhelm the U.S. public health system and wreak horrific destruction.

3/2/1998 - The Bioweaponeers 
A conversation with Ken Alibek, for whom a strain of weaponized anthrax (Alibekov anthrax) is named.

Case Study: Sverdlovsk Anthrax Outbreak of 1979
The anthrax epidemic in Sverdlovsk, prompting Soviet officials to attribute the outbreak to contaminated meat, while the US Government took the position that the outbreak was due to a leakage from a biological weapons facility. This case seeks to explore the sources of the anthrax spores as well as the methods of treatment used by the Soviets according to both US and Soviet sources.

Britain's 'Anthrax Island': Quarantined for 48 Years 
The island of Gruinard, half way between Ullapool and Gairloch in the Highlands, was so contaminated by experiments that it was quarantined for almost 50 years.

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Botulinum Toxin:

Johns Hopkins Working Group on Civilian Biodefense Says Botulinum Toxin Major Biological Weapons Threat
The Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies, who works with the CDC, published this botulinum toxin page in 2000. When it was published last year, it averred that "a number of states named by the U.S. State Department as "state sponsors of terrorism" have developed or are developing botulinum toxin as a biological weapon."

JAMA: Botulinum Toxin as a Biological Weapon
The Journal of American Medical Association's publication about medical and public health management of botulinum toxin, microbiology and virulence factors, and history of current threat.

Federation of American Scientists: Botulinum Toxin Fact Sheet
Delves into the symptoms, delivery, production, and treatment of the paralytic agent botulism.

Force Health Protection: Botulinum Toxin as a Biological Weapon
Sets forth current facts, about the toxin as well as its possible use as a bioagent. Also links to information for service members and their families.


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Plague:

Johns Hopkins Public Health Preparedness Programs: Plague 
The Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies, who works with the CDC, published this study of the plague. Among some of the more disturbing statements: "There are no effective environmental warning systems to detect an aerosol cloud of plague bacilli, and there are no widely available rapid, diagnostic tests of utility. The first sign of a bioterrorist attack with plague would most likely be a sudden outbreak of patients presenting with severe symptoms."

JAMA: Plague as a Biological Weapon
The Journal of American Medical Association's publication examines the plague, its history as a current threat, epidemiology, symptoms, and methods of treatment.

eMedicine: Plague 
Background, clinical aspects, and treatment of the plague, *Warning: the pictures on this site are not for the squeamish.

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Smallpox:

CDC: Smallpox: An Attack Scenario
The most shocking thing about this publication is that it was on CDC's site in 1999. That should not minimize the shock of the scenario, set in the northeast U.S., and goes into how a terrorist could easily spread the disease, and how easily emergency rooms would misdiagnose the symptoms, effectively helping the disease to spread.

Johns Hopkins Public Health Preparedness Programs: Smallpox
The Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies, who works with the CDC, published this study of smallpox.

06/11/01: Warning of smallpox terror risk
Russia's Vektor Institute in Siberia holds one of only two official samples of smallpox. In this article, Dr. Lev Sandakhchiyev, the director of the center, warns of the risks of smallpox in the hands of bioterrorists.

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Tularemia:

Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies Tularemia
The Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies, who works with the CDC, published this study of tularemia, a likely bioterrorism weapon.

JAMA: Tularemia as a Biological Weapon 
The Journal of American Medical Association's publication examines tularemia, its history as a current threat, epidemiology, symptoms, and methods of treatment.

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Contamination of the Food Supply:

Terrorism and the Food Supply
The Public Health Emergency section of the DHHS seeks to provide information about the challenges which are involved in protecting the country's food supply from deliberate contamination.

Federal Department of Agriculture: Food Protection Plan
Lays out the programs for protection of food, whether by deliberate attack or unintentional contamination.

Is Our Food Supply At Risk to a Terror Attack?
A 2010 interview with Shaun Kennedy, the director for the National Center for Food Protection and Defense about the security of the food chain in the United States.


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© Michelle Anderson 2001-2016