[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Anthrax [DoD]



Forwarded message:

> X-within-URL: http://www.defenselink.mil/other_info/agent.html

>     Go to Home Page - U.S. Department of Defense U.S. DEPARTMENT OF
>    DEFENSE
>    Home Site Map Search   major sections are next NEWS  MULTIMEDIA
>    PUBLICATIONS  QUESTIONS?
>    
>   Information Paper
>   Anthrax as a Biological Warfare Agent
>      * Anthrax is the preferred biological warfare agent because:
>        
>      * It is highly lethal.
>        
>      * 100 million lethal doses per gram of anthrax material (100,000
>        times deadlier than the deadliest chemical warfare agent).
>      * Silent, invisible killer.
>      * Inhalational anthrax is virtually always fatal.
>        
>      * There are low barriers to production.
>        
>      * Low cost of producing the anthrax material.
>      * Not high-technology. Knowledge is widely available.
>      * Easy to produce in large quantities.
>        
>      * It is easy to weaponize.
>        
>      * It is extremely stable. It can be stored almost indefinitely as a
>        dry powder.
>      * It can be loaded, in a freeze-dried condition, in munitions or
>        disseminated as an aerosol with crude sprayers.
>        
>      * Currently, we have a limited detection capability.
>      * What is Anthrax?
>        
>      * Anthrax is a naturally occurring disease of plant eating animals
>        (goats, sheep, cattle, wine, etc.) caused by the bacterium
>        Bacillus anthracis.
>      * It is an illness which has been recognized since antiquity.
>        Anthrax was common in essentially all areas where livestock are
>        raised. Intensive livestock immunization programs have greatly
>        reduced the occurrence of the disease among both animals and
>        humans in much of the world, an most outbreaks occur in areas
>        where immunization programs have not been implemented or have
>        become compromised (primarily Africa and Asia; however, outbreaks
>        occurred during the mid- I 990's in Haiti and the former Soviet
>        Union).
>      * Anthrax spores can remain viable for several decades under
>        suitable environmental conditions; thus, absence of cases does not
>        equate to absence of risk.
>        
>      * Humans can contract anthrax in three ways:
>        
>      * Through cuts or breaks in the skin resulting from contact with an
>        infected animal (cutaneous anthrax), resulting in local and
>        possibly systemic (bloodstream) infection.
>        
>      * From breathing anthrax spores (termed "woolsorters" disease)
>        resulting in an infection of the lungs (inhalational anthrax).
>        
>      * From eating infected meat, resulting in gastrointestinal infection
>        (gastrointestinal anthrax). Gastrointestinal anthrax is generally
>        not considered a threat to U.S. forces.
>      * What are the symptoms?
>        
>      * Symptoms of anthrax begin after a 1 to 6 day incubation period
>        following exposure.
>        
>      * For contact or cutaneous anthrax, itching will occur at the site
>        of exposure followed by the formation of a lesion. Untreated
>        contact anthrax has a fatality rate of 5-20 percent, but with
>        effective antibiotic treatment, few deaths occur.
>      * Initial symptoms for inhalational anthrax are generally
>        non-specific: low grade fever, a dry hacking cough, and weakness.
>        The person may briefly improve after 2 to 4 days; however within
>        24 hours after this brief improvement, respiratory distress occurs
>        with shock and death following shortly thereafter.
>        
>      * Almost all cases of inhalational anthrax, in which treatment was
>        begun after patients have exhibited symptoms, have resulted in
>        death, regardless of post-exposure treatment.
>      * What is the medical countermeasure?
>        
>      * Prior to exposure, prevention through vaccination, using the
>        FDA-licensed vaccine.
>      * Otherwise, antibiotics such as penicillin, ciprofloxacin, and
>        doxycycline are the drugs of choice for treatment of anthrax.
>      * Treatment with antibiotics must begin prior to the onset of
>        symptoms and must include vaccination prior to discontinuing their
>        use.
>      * The use of antibiotics keep the patient alive until their body can
>        build an immunity to anthrax via vaccination. After symptoms
>        appear however, inhalational anthrax is almost always fatal,
>        regardless of treatment.
>        
>    
>      _________________________________________________________________
>    
>    
>    
>    Updated: 10 Jun 1998
>    Contact Us
>    Security and Privacy Notice
> 


    ____________________________________________________________________

          What raises the standard of living may well diminish the
          quality of life.

                                                 The Club of Rome

       The Armadillo Group       ,::////;::-.          James Choate
       Austin, Tx               /:'///// ``::>/|/      [email protected]
       www.ssz.com            .',  ||||    `/( e\      512-451-7087
                           -====~~mm-'`-```-mm --'-
    --------------------------------------------------------------------