Bioterrorism still a threat to the

Future of Humanity Institute Most attention has been given to risks to human civilization over the next years, but forecasting for this length of time is difficult. The types of threats posed by nature may prove relatively constant, though new risks could be discovered. Anthropogenic threats, however, are likely to change dramatically with the development of new technology; while volcanoes have been a threat throughout history, nuclear weapons have only been an issue since the 20th century.

Bioterrorism still a threat to the

How Dangerous Is Anthrax?

ShareCompartir There is no immediate, direct threat of a bioterrorist attack using smallpox. No bioterrorist attack using smallpox has happened in modern times.

Throughout history, though, some people have used smallpox to their advantage by deliberately infecting their enemies with the disease. Why is Smallpox a Concern? Public health authorities are concerned about smallpox because it is a serious—even deadly—disease.

Today, there are only two labs in the world that are approved to have the smallpox virus for research: There is credible concern that in the past some countries made the virus into weapons, which may have fallen into the hands of terrorists or other people with criminal intentions.

The last natural outbreak of smallpox in the United States happened in The last naturally spread case in the entire world happened in The World Health Assembly declared smallpox eradicated in Even a single confirmed case of smallpox today would be considered an emergency. If the virus that causes smallpox were used in a bioterrorist attack, people who come into contact with the virus would be at risk of getting sick.

Bythe smallpox vaccine was no longer given routinely in the United States. As a result, most people born in the United States after have not been vaccinated against the disease. These vaccination efforts are part of the larger plan to prepare for a bioterrorist attack.

However, the vaccine does not give lifelong immunity, and people who have been vaccinated against smallpox before may still need to be revaccinated in a smallpox emergency. Most likely, if smallpox is released into the United States as a bioterrorist attack, public health authorities will find out once the first person sick with the disease goes to a hospital for treatment of an unknown illness.

If doctors suspect the person has smallpox, they will care for the person and isolate them in the hospital so that others do not come in contact with the smallpox virus. The medical staff at the hospital will contact local public health authorities to let them know they have a patient who might have smallpox.

Local public health authorities would then alert public health officials at the state and federal level, such as CDC, to help diagnose the disease.

If experts confirm the illness is smallpox, then CDC, along with state and local public health authorities, will put into place their plans to respond to a bioterrorist attack with smallpox.News of a disease outbreak or possible pandemic may readily conjure up Hollywood fantasies of horrible disease symptoms, government crackdowns and mass death.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration New Hampshire Avenue Silver Spring, MD INFO-FDA () Contact FDA. The tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks prompted reflections on the current status of the terrorism threat to the United States.

One aspect of an assessment—the threat posed by biological weapons—is especially challenging because of the unique character of these weapons. Biological agents are organisms or toxins that can kill or incapacitate people, livestock and crops.

A biological attack is the deliberate release of germs or other biological substances that can make you are three basic groups of biological agents that could likely be used as weapons: bacteria, viruses and toxins.

Biological agents can be dispersed . A subset of select agents and toxins have been designated as Tier 1 because these biological agents and toxins present the greatest risk of deliberate misuse with significant potential for mass casualties or devastating effect to the economy, critical infrastructure, or public confidence, and pose a severe threat to public health and safety.

Smallpox - Still a Viable Bioterrorist Threat by Richard Schoeberl Wed, November 28, The 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States and, shortly thereafter, the mailing of anthrax spores to several news agencies and the offices of two U.S. Senators became evidence of the need to improve U.S.

Bioterrorism still a threat to the

homeland security in general and the.

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