One aspect of an assessment—the threat posed by biological weapons—is especially challenging because of the unique character of these weapons. A prime distinction is the fact that exposure to minute quantities of a biological agent may go unnoticed, yet ultimately be the cause of disease and death. Accordingly, bioterrorism poses distinctive challenges for preparedness, protection, and response.
One aspect of an assessment—the threat posed by biological weapons—is especially challenging because of the unique character of these weapons. A prime distinction is the fact that exposure to minute quantities of a biological agent may go unnoticed, yet ultimately be the cause of disease and death.
Accordingly, bioterrorism poses distinctive challenges for preparedness, protection, and response. About a half-dozen letters containing anthrax spores were mailed to journalists and politicians beginning one week after the jetliner attacks.
Four letters with spores and threat messages eventually were recovered.
All were postmarked Trenton, New Jersey, which meant that they had been processed at the postal distribution center in nearby Hamilton.
As people became infected in September, October and November, local responses revealed gaps in preparedness for a biological attack. For example, the first confirmation of an anthrax case was on October 4, more than two weeks after the initial letters were mailed.
Retrospective assessments later indicated that by then nine people had already contracted the disease. Their illness previously had been misidentified because of faulty diagnoses or erroneous laboratory tests.
Meanwhile, scores of buildings were belatedly found to be contaminated with spores that had leaked from the letters. At least 30, people who were deemed at risk required prophylactic antibiotics. Since the anthrax attacks, the U. As a result, two central questions have emerged after 10 years of efforts.
Is the United States safer from a bioattack now than at the time of the anthrax attacks? Has the spending been worth it? Key Questions, Discrepant Answers Opinions on these questions differ. Yet an assessment of several broad critical contentions can offer clarification.
The criticisms are largely expressed in the form of five contentions. Funding for biodefense has meant fewer dollars for other deserving areas such as public health infrastructure and basic science research.
Inmicrobiologists signed a letter to Elias Zerhouni, then director of the National Institutes of Health NIHobjecting to the diversion of funds from public health research to biodefense projects. Fiscal woes in recent years have in fact resulted in reduced resources for public health and related programs.
Economic pressure threatens to shrink biodefense funding as it does funding for much else in the federal budget; however, it is not clear now, nor was it in the past, if fewer dollars for biodefense would necessarily translate into more for public health, basic research, or any other health-related programs.Before October , no one in the United States.
had experience with anthrax transmitted through the mail or in the air of postal offices. Many epidemiologic questions arose in the course of responding to that anthrax outbreak, and any future bioterrorist attack will probably result in unpredictable or unimaginable issues despite preparations.
Bioterrorist Attack in the United Sates Essay - Biological warfare is a topic that many people tend to sweep under the rug and ignore.
Shortly following the infamous 9/11 attacks, anthrax claimed five lives around the nation, but people do not live in fear of bioterrorism. The aftermath of a bioterrorist attack can be catastrophic to the population in any affected country. The effects can be medical, economic, political, psychological, and social, depending on what agent is used, and the conditions of its release.
May 17, · Numerous books have been written on the topic, such as Preventing surprise attacks: intelligence reform in the wake of 9/11by ichard Posner (), Human security, law and prevention of terrorism by Andrej Zwitter () or Cybersecurity: preventing terrorist attacks and protecting privacy in cyberspace by the United States Congress, under the United States Government Printing Office ().
The tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks prompted reflections on the current status of the terrorism threat to the United States. One aspect of an assessment—the threat posed by biological weapons—is especially challenging because of the unique character of these weapons.
Bioterrorism in the United States of America Bioterrorism in the United States of America Since the events of September 11, , the United States has made great strides in emergency response preparedness for terrorist attacks, however, one area that is still lacking is preparedness for a widespread biological terrorist attack.