Increase in body temperature, tiredness, cough
and congestion followed by difficulty in
breathing. Victims may also sweat excessively, while some may turn blue, medically termed as cyanosis.
The vaccine will be effective only if it was given one and a half years prior to exposure.
The Infliction (Threat):
Contact with infected animals, eating contaminated meat
or inhaling contaminated spores can cause the spread of infection.
Anthrax spores can survive in the ground or in water
for years together and can easily be dispersed in
the air by missiles, rockets, aerial bombs and
sprayers. Only a few spores are required to cause the
Death occurs within 24-36 hours after onset of
Fever, chills, headache, difficulty in breathing and
blood in sputum are some of the common symptoms. Symptoms of plague usually sets in
1-6 days after exposure.
There is a vaccine to prevent bubonic plague. Aerosolized plague can be treated with antibiotics, and if given
immediately, greatly improves the
chances of survival.
Bubonic plague is transmitted to man through fleas that have
fed on the blood of an infected rat. Aerosolized plague is
more dangerous and
death can occur within a few days.
Death occurs within 2 or 4 days after the onset of
Symptoms show up in about 10-12 days after exposure. Some of the initial symptoms are fever, tiredness and back pain. Two or three days after the initial symptoms, victims suffer rashes and
pustules on the face, arms and legs.
Smallpox was eradicated sometime in 1972, yet we still have about
15 million doses available
in the US and Russia.
Smallpox can prove fatal as it is highly contagious
and spreads quickly. Though it has been
eradicated, smallpox can be a potential biological
About 35% of patients die within the first two
weeks of the onset of symptoms.
Usually appear 12-36 hours after
consumption of spoilt food.
Symptoms include blurred vision, slurred
speech, difficulty in swallowing, general weakness.
The anti toxin must be administered as soon as possible.
Botulism is caused by a toxin botulinum which can be
extremely powerful. It can be used to infect
water and food supplies, though the latter is more
safe as chlorine destroys the pathogen. It is not
contagious and is unlikely to be used as a
biological reaction as it is difficult for dispersal.
Victims who take in small amounts may survive
but larger doses can cause breathing problems
and death within a short time.
Fevers, muscle pain, chills and diarrhea begin
within few days followed by severe angina, shock
There are no vaccines for hemorrhagic
fever. Yellow fever does have a vaccine.
Hemorrhagic Fever is caused by a different group of viruses-
arenaviruses, bunyaviruses, flaviviruses and
filoviruses. Strains are available only in a few
laboratories in the world.
There are technical obstructions in dissemination
of these as biological weapons. Only the Ebola
form of the virus is deadly if made air borne and
The disease is not always fatal but Ebola virus
results in death in 90% of the cases, within a week
following the infection.
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