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WASHINGTON – Have you seen the government’s new href="http://www.ready.gov">tips for protecting
yourself from biological and chemical attack?

Some counterterrorism experts say they’re so general
they’re virtually useless.

And you can put away the duct tape and plastic
sheeting the Homeland Security Department initially
recommended to shut out deadly agents.

They won’t likely protect you from a biological attack
– not unless you plan to seal your doors and windows
right now and live like a hermit.

Symptoms from most agents take several days to show
up, and even longer for officials to recognize a
pattern and alert you to an attack. By then it would
be too late to seal your doors and windows. You would
already have been exposed.

What you need, experts say, is not duct tape or
annoyingly obvious safety tips from Homeland Security
Department officials, such as “practice good hygiene
and cleanliness to avoid spreading germs, and seek
medical advice” in the event of a bioterror attack.
That illuminating tip is on the department’s new href="http://www.ready.gov">website.

No, what you need is raw knowledge. Specific
information about bioagents so you can make smart
decisions in case your community is exposed to them in
a terrorist attack. Answers to questions such as
these: Which agents are easiest to weaponize and
infect large populations – and therefore most likely
to be used by terrorists? How large a dose does it
take to infect you? How long before symptoms appear,
and what do they look like? How fatal are they? What’s
the most effective medical treatment?

To that end, WorldNetDaily has decided to publish
highlights of voluminous biodefense training materials
it has obtained from the U.S. Army.

The training course, called “Biological Sampling and
Detection,” is being taught to National Guard units by
scientists at the Dugway Proving Ground, a top
Pentagon bioweapons research lab in Utah.

Instructors include Drs. Daniel Martin and Zara
Llewellyn, as well as Jeff Montague, (none of whom
provided WND with the materials) of the Lothar Salomon
Life Sciences Test Facility, the only Defense
Department lab certified to test developmental
equipment with aerosolized Biosafety Level 3 agents
such as anthrax. BL-3 is the term used to describe
facilities in which work is performed using indigenous
or exotic agents with a potential for respiratory
transmission, and which may cause serious and
potentially lethal infection, but for which a vaccine
or treatment exists (unlike BL-4 agents such as the
hanta virus).

What follows is a condensed version of Llewellyn’s
overview of Category A bioagents in one of her recent
presentations to civil support teams rotating through
Dugway since the Sept. 11 attacks. Category A
agents pose a national security risk because they can
be easily disseminated or transmitted from person to
person, and can result in high mortality rates and
have the potential for major public health impact.
Also, they might cause public panic and social
disruption, and require special action for public
health preparedness.

Anthrax: Bacillus anthracis, a
rod-shaped spore-forming bacterium.

Biological warfare applications:

  • Easy to cultivate, large quantities

  • Common laboratory equipment
  • Highly stable in environment for storage
  • Concentrated spores in wet or dry forms
  • Delivered by explosives, aerosol sprayers, aircraft,
    cruise missile (and, of course, even mailed envelopes)

  • Spores hardy and virulent (antiphagocytic capsule
    protects it from body’s germ-eating phagocytes)

1. Cutaneous anthrax:

  • Infection of skin through open wound, abrasion

  • 95 percent of anthrax cases worldwide
  • Symptoms: black necrotic lesions (eschar)
  • No person-to-person transmission


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Cutaneous anthrax

Case fatality rate:

  • No antibiotics (septicemia): 20 percent

  • Antibiotics: 1 percent

2. Intestinal anthrax:

  • Ingestion of infected food or water

  • Symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Case fatality: 25 percent-60 percent
  • Antibiotic treatment is undefined

3. Inhalation anthrax

  • Also known as Wool-sorter’s disease

  • Inhalation of spores
  • Incubation period: 1 to 6 days (dose dependent)
  • ID50 (the dose which will cause infection in 50
    percent of people): 8 to 10,000 spores inhaled per
    person

  • Flu-like symptoms: fever, malaise, fatigue, cough,
    chest pain (mediastinal widening and pleural effusion)

  • Shock and death within 24 to 36 hours

Antibiotic treatment before symptoms appear:

  • Ciprofloxin

  • Doxycycline
  • Tetracycline
  • Erythromycin

Case fatality rate:

  • No antibiotics: 97 percent

  • Antibiotics: 75 percent

Identifying anthrax under microscope:

  • Gram stain: segmented rods (pure culture)

  • Agar media (in petri dish): “comet tail” growth
    pattern

Plague: Yersinia pestis, a rod-shaped
bacterium.

Biowarfare applications:

  • Easy to cultivate

  • Common laboratory equipment
  • Environmentally stable
  • Concentration of live cells
  • Wet or dry forms
  • Delivered by explosives, aerosol sprayer, aircraft or
    cruise missile


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Bubonic plague

1. Bubonic plague

  • “Black death” has killed millions through flea bites

  • Incubation period: 2 to 6 days.
  • Symptoms: infected, swollen lymph nodes (buboes) and
    necrosis of surrounding tissue

  • No human-to-human transmission
  • Antibiotic treatment: Tetracyclines and sulfonamides
  • Vaccines limited to persons at high risk of exposure

2. Septicemic plague

  • Bubonic form can become septicemic (bacterial growth in blood)

  • Symptoms: blood-clotting, organ failure, shock,
    gangrene and internal bleeding which may blacken the
    skin

  • Antibiotic treatment
  • Highly fatal


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Ulcerated flea bite caused by plague bacteria

3. Pneumonic plague

  • Person-to-person transmission

  • ID50 (dose which will cause infection in at least
    half of people): 100 bacteria per person

  • Symptoms: fever, chills, headache, cough with bloody
    sputum; respiratory failure, circulatory collapse and
    death within 48 hours of symptoms

Antibiotic treatment (within 24 hours of symptoms):

  • Streptomycin

  • Tetracycline
  • Gentamicin

Fatality: 100 percent (if not treated)

Plague bacteria under microscope: “safety pin”
appearance

Tularemia: Francisella tularensis, a
rod-shaped bacterium.

Biowarfare applications:

  • Difficult to cultivate

  • Stable in environment (remains in soil and water for
    weeks)

  • Concentrated live cells
  • Wet or dry forms
  • Delivered by explosives, aerosol sprayer, aircraft or
    cruise missile

  • ID50: 10 to 50 bacteria per person
  • Incubation period: 2 to 10 days
  • No person-to-person transmission
  • Difficult to diagnose

Symptoms:

  • Ulceroglandular: fever, chills, itching of skin, skin
    ulcer, enlargement of lymph nodes

  • Oculoglandular: infection of eyes
  • Pulmonary: nonproductive cough, dyspnea, chest pain,
    pulmonary infiltrates, fever, chills

  • Typhoidal: fever, chills, diarrhea, fatigue,
    splenomegaly, bacterial growth in blood

  • Antibiotic treatment: streptomycin, gentamicin
  • No vaccine
  • Fatality: rare except in typhoidal cases

Tularemia bacteria under microscope: mixed culture

Botulism: Clostridium botulinum, a
spore-forming bacterium that produces powerful toxin.

Biowarfare applications:

  • Up to 100,000 times more toxic than nerve agents VX
    and Sarin.

  • Up to 1,000 times more toxic than ricin and saxitoxin
  • LD50 (lethal dose): 0.001 mg/kg
  • (Allegedly one of the staples of Iraq’s arsenal, as
    of at least October 1990)

  • Delivered by aerosol
  • Incubation period: hours to days
  • Symptoms: vision and speech difficulties, generalized
    weakness, descending paralysis, respiratory failure
    and death

  • Treatment: antitoxin before symptoms manifest (even
    then, recovery is long)

  • Fatality: high
  • No human-to-human transmission

Small pox: Variola major, a virus of the
poxviridae family.

Biowarfare aspects:

  • Infectious dose is low

  • Grows well in tissue culture
  • Concentration of viral particles
  • Wet or dry form
  • Delivered by aerosol
  • Infection by inhalation or direct contact
  • Human-to-human transmission (highly contagious;
    infection can come from lesions of patient, clothing
    of patient and even air surrounding patient)


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Face lesions on boy with smallpox
  • ID50: 10 to 100 viral particles per person

  • Incubation period: 7 to 10 days
  • Symptoms: fever, malaise, headache, vomiting, rash
    (within 2 to 3 days), pustular lesions that scab over

  • Treatment: quarantine, vaccine
  • Case fatality rate: 30 percent (hemorrhagic small pox
    – blood-filled pustules – is highly lethal)

Small pox virus image: roundish, life-raft appearance

Marburg, Junin, Lassa, Ebola: viruses that
cause deadly hemorrhagic fevers.


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Ebola virus

Biowarfare aspects:

  • Part of former Soviet arsenal

  • Very low infectious dose
  • Highly lethal
  • Dry viral particles
  • Delivered by aerosol
  • ID50: 1 to 10 viral particles per person
  • Incubation period: 4 to 21 days (dose and agent
    dependent)

  • Symptoms: high fever, malaise, headache, internal
    bleeding (intestinal tract), hemorrhaging from
    orifices (gums, eyes, nose, skin), death within 7 to
    14 days

  • Treatment: Ribavirin for Lassa, quarantine
  • Case fatality: 30 percent to 95 percent

    Ebola, Marburg virus image: worm-like


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    Marburg virus

    Category B agents, which have both lower morbidity and
    mortality rates than Category A agents and are less
    likely to be weaponized, include:

    • Cholera

    • Ricin
    • Q fever
    • Brucellosis
    • Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis
    • Histoplasmosis
    • Valley fever
    • Staph enterotoxin B


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    Lassa virus

    Other potential bioterror agents identified in the
    Dugway training seminar include:

    • Salmonella

    • Ecoli 0157:H7
    • Shigella
    • Glanders
    • Melioidosis
    • Psittacosis
    • Typhus fever
    • Nipah virus
    • Hanta virus

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