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Bioterrorism - Essay Example

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To be careful in protecting against these diseases is presently a global issue.
Anthrax was wantonly spread through postal system in United States during 2001. Although anthrax cannot be spread using human conveyor, human beings are prone to be affected by the disease on inhaling the powdered form anthrax spores or eating undercooked meat from animals, which were already infected by anthrax. Very small amount of these tasteless, colorless and invisible spores of anthrax can cause one ill in a spell of weeks.1 There are three types of anthrax found. They are cutaneous, inhalation and gastrointestinal. The cutaneous anthrax attacks the skin causing a small sore developing into a blister, which then becomes an ulcer. Undercooked food of infected animal meat causes gastrointestinal illness, showing early symptoms of nausea, loss of appetite, bloody vomiting and fever. Inhaled anthrax develops symptoms relating to cold and flu. Early use of antibiotics can prevent anthrax but the vaccination formulated has not yet been circulated among general public2. Albeit the small pox has been eradicated throughout the world, the stock of these viruses in the hands of terrorists is still under question. In 1977 there was reports of small pox in Somalia. Initial symptoms of small pox such as fever, fatigue and rash are liable to be overlooked. But the small pus-filled blisters on face and arms indicate the onset of small pox vividly.
Plague causing bacteria Yersinia pestis are spread through rats, squirrels and rodents. Once millions of people were killed in this epidemic. Antibiotics like, streptomycin, gentamicin, tetracycline, flouroquinolone can be administered for treatment and prevention. (Journal of American Medical Association, "Plague as a Biological Weapon", Vol 283.No 17, May 3, 2000)
Tularemia, the disease spread out by the bacterium Francisella tularensis, is only through animals and it does not use man as the conveyor. It is a very rare disease affecting hunters and veterinarians who are coming into contact with animal blood or body fluids. Intravenous antibiotics treat tularemia but the fatality percentage of this disease is very small. The bacterium is a gram-negative coccobacillus that can sustain low temperatures in water, moist soil and decaying animal carcasses. This disease rarely affects human beings and people who are bitten by arthropods and people handling animal tissues and their body fluids are susceptible to be attacked by these viruses. An aerosol release of this bacterium immediately affects the eyes, causes pleuropneumonitis and some ulceroglandular disease. Depending upon the age of the patient, treatment for this tularemia is imparted with antibiotics like, streptomycin, gentamicin or ciprofloxacin. This treatment should be continued for ten days and treatment with doxycycline or chloromphenicol must be protracted for two to three weeks. (Journal of American Medical Association, June 6,2001, Vol . 285,no.21:2763-2773)
Clostridium botulinum, a lethal microorganism causing botulism is capable of killing human being within hours of onset. The botulinum toxin is found in improperly canned foods and fish with bacterial attack. In 12 to 36 hours of intake, the botulinum toxin develops symptoms such as abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting. The chief target of this toxin is muscles especially muscles in respiratory system. Administering antidotes renders treatment. A ventilator is a ...Show more
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Summary

Bioterrorism is now a worldwide nightmare. Spreading disease-causing bacteria or viruses is the modus operandi of bioterrorism. The agents of these diseases vary geographically. The main agents of disease-causing microorganisms are: Anthrax, Yersinia Pestis, Smallpox viruses, Clostridium botulinum and Francisella tularensis…
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