Can the plague be weaponized?

Can the plague be weaponized?

If those with nefarious motives and technical expertise wanted to weaponize the bacteria today, they could.” As Johns Hopkins public health researchers note, both the US and Soviet Union developed ways to create the aerosolized version of the plague in the 1950s and 1960s.

When was the plague used as a biological weapon?

The earliest recorded use of Y. pestis as a biological weapon occurred in the 14thcentury when a Tartar army, in an attempt to conquer conquered Kaffa (in current day Crimea), reportedly catapulted victims of plague over gated walls (Cartwright 1972).

Which disease was used as a biological weapon?

Examples of biological warfare during the past millennium Similarly, the smallpox epidemic among Indians could have been caused by contact with settlers. In addition, yellow fever is spread only by infected mosquitoes. During their conquest of South America, the Spanish might also have used smallpox as a weapon.

What counts as a biological weapon?

Biological weapons are microorganisms like virus, bacteria, fungi, or other toxins that are produced and released deliberately to cause disease and death in humans, animals or plants. Bioterrorism attacks could also result in an epidemic, for example if Ebola or Lassa viruses were used as the biological agents.

How has smallpox been used as a biological weapon?

Smallpox was also used as a biological weapon during the French and Indian Wars (1754–1767) by the commander of Fort Pitt. Soldiers distributed blankets that had been used by smallpox patients with the intent of initiating outbreaks among American Indians. An epidemic occurred, killing more than 50% of infected tribes.

Has smallpox been used as a biological weapon?

No one has gotten smallpox naturally since 1977. However, it is possible that variola virus (the virus that causes smallpox) could be used in a biological attack (an intentional release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs that can sicken or kill people, livestock, or crops).

Why Anthrax is a biological weapon?

Anthrax makes a good weapon because it can be released quietly and without anyone knowing. The microscopic spores could be put into powders, sprays, food, and water. Because they are so small, you may not be able to see, smell, or taste them. Anthrax has been used as a weapon before.

How did the plague become a biological weapon?

The epidemiology of plague following its use as a biological weapon would differ substantially from that of naturally occurring infection. Intentional dissemination of plague would most likely occur via an aerosol of Y. pestis, resulting in a pneumonic plague outbreak.

Which is the most deadly biological weapon in the world?

Aerosolized pneumonic plague remains one of the most deadly biological weapons agents due to universal susceptibility to the disease, high morbidity and mortality induced by the disease, and quick person-to-person transmission of the pneumonic form of disease.

Is the plague a threat to national security?

Even so, manufacturing an effective weapon using Y. pestis would require advanced knowledge and technology. Plague has been identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a “Category A” agent, meaning it has been given high priority due to its potential threat to national security.

What are the medical aspects of biological warfare?

Medical Aspects of Biological Warfare. Office of the Surgeon General, Department of the Army. Addresses the weaponization of biological agents, categorizing potential agents as food, waterborne, or agricultural agents or toxins, and discusses their respective epidemiology. Chapter 5: Plague.