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BIOTERRORISM definition (often sponsored by Governments


Bioterrorism is the utilization of microorganisms or toxins in order to produce a
disease and/or death in human beings, animals or plants. Different from
conventional weaponry, relatively economic means are used that allow the
elimination of living beings without destroying the surrounding atmosphere.
The most probably method for spread of bioweapons is aerial transmission,
continuing into water supplies and food. The CDC (US Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, Atlanta) has subdivided into three categories the
aggressiveness of "Bioweapons".
Category A comprises:
Plague, Anthrax, Smallpox, Botulism, Tularemia, viral hemorrhagic fevers
(ebola, Marpurg),
The Plague. The data from the WHO refer to the presence of approximately
1000/3000 cases per year of the plague, distributed mostly between Africa,
South America and Asia. In the United States the last city epidemic of plague
was in 1924-25, in Los Angeles, and from there the disease manifested in the
rural areas with a 10-15 cases the year, above all in the New Mexico, Arizona
north and south Colorado region, and also in the California, souther Oregon and
western Nevada regions.
In Asia the plague is diffused in the the Caucasus and also in Russia, China,
and in some zones of south-western and Southeastern Asia. The plague is
present in Uganda (November 1988, 49 cases), Malawi (July 1999, 74 cases),
Namibia (May 1999, 39 cases) in Madagascar and Sudafrica.
The plague is absent in Europe and Australia.
Never as hour has been taken place, in our history, the requirement to one
preparation in sight of an eventual terroristic attack. A terroristic attack could be
put in action to means of crews of mass destruction, of chemical products,
therefore like by means of crews of biological nature which virus, bacteria and
other germs. In case of attack with use of products chemical and/or radioactive ,
the effects would be immediate.
Many hours, instead, even days, could pass silently before stating the
devastating effects of an attack of biological nature.
CDC declare that the plague is a possible biological weapon because the
bacterium occurs in nature and could be isolated and grown in quantity in a
laboratory. To understand a potential act of bioterrorism, it is important to
recognize the presentation of naturally disease.
Bubonic Plague: incubation period is 2-6 days. Early symptoms are
lymphadenopathy and fever. Patients develop swollen lymph nodes, which are
called buboes. If bubonic plague is not treated, the bacteria can scatter through
the bloodstream causing septicemia or infect the lungs.
Pneumonic Plague: incubation period is 2-4 days with range of 1-6 days.
Symptoms are acute attack of fever, myalgias associated with progressive lack
of energy. It is caused by direct inhalation of infective respiratory droplets or
aerosolized bacteria. Chest radiographs of untreated patients show rapidly
expanding bronchopneumonic infiltrates. Without early diagnosis and therapy in
less than 24 hours, pneumonic plague is generally fatal.
Septicemic Plague is frequently fatal also when treated. Occurs when Yersinia
Pestis increase in the blood. Symptoms are acute attack of fever,
prostration,vomit,nausea, abdominal pain,purpura. Subsequently the disease
may develop disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC).
(Abstract), Prof. Camillo Di Cicco, MD,
Presented at the 15th Congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and