Biological Agents as Military Weapons

This paper discusses the threats posed by and the effect of biological weapons. The focus is on six of the most dangerous biological warfare agents, as perceived by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Ga.These are anthrax (bacillus anthracis), botulinum toxin, hemorrhagic fever viruses, plague (yersinia pestis), smallpox, and tularemia.The epidemology, pathogenesis, and treatment of each of these are the main topic of discussion.Genetic modifications and potential militaristic use of biological agents is also a topic of discussion.
The face of warfare has changed dramatically over the last number of centuries and is continually evolving with new technological advancements.From bows and arrows to bombs and missiles, one factor has remained constant – the coupling of weapons and biological agents to increase their potency.Some of the more creative endeavors included placing animal carcasses in an enemy's water well, or catapulting plagued bodies over city walls in an attempt to infect the opposition (1).The current repertoire of biological agents has greatly expanded during the past century due to development in scientific research, which is reflected in a vast comprehensive knowledge of diseases caused by deadly bacteria and viruses.The series of anthrax attacks in the United States a year ago has had the effect of increased public awareness in North America of the potential threat of biological weapons.This awareness has mainly been provided through media publications, which, on occasion lays aside scientific fact in order to achieve better headlines.This paper attempts to provide a brief overview of current scientific facts pertaining to the threat of biological warfare.
There are three routes that upon contamination would affect a large number of people, through the air, food and water supply.The most effective of these would be through the air most likely via a…

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