What is Nano Technology?
Bioterrorism has been a constant fear of many people and countries for centuries. It’s regularly featured in movies as a cataclysm and the anthrax scare in the early 2000s put the people’s fears to the test. Bioterrorism has been used as a military tactic by different nations since the beginnings of armed conflict. Soldiers would plant bodies of diseased people in their enemy’s base to poison them or put rotting carcasses in streams to spread disease to other cities and bases. These days, the threat is much more severe as biotechnology has advanced to the point where specific diseases and viruses have been isolated and can be readily reproduced both in labs and through more crude means.
Such developments allow even a single person the opportunity to infect and poison thousands of people with little effort. These tactics easily lend themselves to terrorist organizations, which are often very small and resource poor. Unlike modern armies, such groups do not have populations and laws to abide by and can resort to extremely horrific actions in order to perpetrate violence.
Thus far such activity has been limited, but the health effects are very severe if they do occur. Any bioterrorism attack is aimed at taking lives, causing a public panic or both. Governments classify such attacks into three categories with decreasing levels of mortality, infection rates, and effect on the public. Anthrax, botulism, Ebola, and small pox are an example of very infectious diseases (aside from anthrax) that kill quickly. Additionally, people are aware of the danger posed by these diseases so they easily induce panic during an outbreak.
Governments have installed plans that are ready to go for each different form of bioterrorism attack. The redundancy of most of these plans has never been tested, however even the worst biological attacks have some form of vaccine or treatment. Any bioterrorism attack will have a specific protocol to follow and will result in the treatment of poisoning or infection as if it occurred in an otherwise benign manner. The relative danger of each attack to a person is dependent upon the type of attack and the actions of the public and government afterwards.
Though there are many doomsday scenarios that are predicted or planned for, it is a larger problem to be in constant fear of such cases occurring. As mentioned above, most toxins and diseases have a treatment protocol, and many of the most poisonous agents are either quickly debilitating or non-infectious to avoid a spread. If an attack does occur, it’s best to follow government orders, stay indoors away from possibly infected persons, and seek immediate treatment should any symptoms occur.