Biological Weapons, Small Pox Essay
This essay will explore the use and effects of small pox as a biological and chemical weapon by using five articles. These articles will show the diverse use and also different point of views of each use of small pox in different weapons throughout the world. Also looking at the affects of what small pox can do to a person and also what it can do at a wide spread area if used for genocide. This paper will show the research of numerous people and not only has what small pox done but also when it does happen what can will we do as a society.
As a society we need to understand what this weapon of mass destruction to the human race can do and also look to the future of when it will be used, because it will be used. The use of Small Pox in Biological Weapon Small Pox is one of the most contagious and fatal biochemical viruses that the world has ever known. If this virus is used as a biological weapon it could be devastating to this planet and the human race as a whole. The first documented use of the small pox virus was during the French and Indian War of 1700’s (DR.
Leigh Vinocur), during this time the British Army decided they were going to use blankets, clothes and anything that had been used by small pox victims against the Indians and the French Armies. This tactic is a form of biological and chemical warfare. This tactic was used and killed 50% of all the affected tribes during that time because of lack in the medical area for a cure (Dr. Vinocur). According to Dr. Vinocur the small pox virus used as a chemical weapon will have catastrophic effects on the human race as it is easily spread and aerosolized; only about 10-100 virus particles can infect a human being.
Since the mass vaccination programs of the 1980’s have stopped, most people that are under the age of 30 years old have not had the 10 year shot and can be affected if in contact with this virus. Small Pox is known as the Variola virus, and has affected over 300 million people in the 20th century before it became the only human infectious virus ever to be irradiated (Henderson DA, Borio L, Grabenstein J. Smallpox and monkeypox. In Plotkin S and Orenstein W (eds), Vaccines. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Company; 2007). Today small pox is considered one of the most important and deadly biochemical warfare elements I today’s world.
Thanks to the Soviet Union which were the inventors of the small pox aerosol virus, the terrorist of today have learned how to use it as an air borne threat and at anytime with the right equipment and amount of the Variola virus (small pox) can kill millions of un treated people in this world. During the time of the Soviet Union coming up with this air borne threat they also had this virus mixed in to war heads of intercontinental ballistic missiles (Henderson DA, Inglesby TV, Bartlett JG, et al. , for the Working Group on Civilian Biodefense.
Smallpox as a biological weapon: medical and public health management. JAMA. 1999;281(22):2127-2137. . These missiles are know as intercontinental because at the time of the cold war and also still today, these missiles can reach long ranges without missing the target. For example, if fired from the Soviet Union area they could hit targets in the United States and spread this contagious virus along to millions of families. The Small pox vaccine has a very high fatality rate among other viruses, such as malaria, the flu, etc…, knowing this information we can see that since the stopping of the vaccine in the 1980’s most of the world’s population is not immune to the virus and would be at risk to death if a chemical attack were to occur.
Another scary fact about this virus is that because of the low dosage needed to infect a person, the symptoms are not immediate. In fact most people, medical personnel do not know if anyone may be infected with the virus until large numbers of people start showing up to emergency rooms and doctor’s offices around the area. (W. B. Saunders Company; 2007, JAMA. 1999;281(22):2127-2137). In the Late 1990’s, there were studies done by medical groups consisting of 21 representatives from large and well known organizations.
A few of the organizations consisted of medical centers and research, government, military, public health, and emergency management institutions and agencies developed consensus-based recommendations for measures to be taken by medical and public health professionals following the use of smallpox as a biological weapon on civilian populations (Inglesby TV, Henderson DA, Bartlett JC, et al. Journal of the American Medical Association, June 9, 1999; vol. 281, no. 22: 2127-2137).
During this time these personnel came up with 5 major recommendations for professional personnel to do in case of an outbreak or biochemical warfare, these five situations to do are: (1) immediately give the small pox vaccination to the infected person (2) therapy, (3) the use of post exposure isolation and infection control need to be used also along with home care. The fourth order was for personnel to perform decontamination control, hospital epidemiology, and decontamination of the environment, (5) and one of the most important portions of this medical help is the use of additional research to combat this very dangerous.
Smallpox is a DNA virus, a member of the genus orthopoxvirus. There are two epidemiologically distinct types of variola—major and minor—based largely on mortality rates (Inglesby TV, Henderson DA, Bartlett JC, et al. Journal of the American Medical Association, June 9, 1999; vol. 281, no. 22: 2127-2137). Small pox if ever used as a biological weapon will bring this wide spread outbreak and every medical personnel needs to know the five things stated above to help the people infected and hopefully save lives while slowing down the outbreak itself.
Despite the irradiation of this virus, small pox still is classed as a category A biological weapon. When the Soviet Union decided to initiate the biopreparat civilian pharmaceutical company in 1974, they paved the way for this biological and chemical warfare using this deadly virus. Vladimir Pasechnik, a Soviet microbiologist provided the information on the strain of India14 and India1 virus, had the idea of using chicken eggs to cultivate large amounts of the deadly virus for the Soviet Union (. globalsecurity. org).