Biological weapons are a widely used source of terror. The definition of a biological weapon is a harmful biological agent (as a pathogenic microorganism or a neurotoxin) used as a weapon to cause death or disease usually on a large scale (“Biological Weapon,” The Merriam- Webster Dictionary). There are numerous substances used as biological weapons. Some include Glanders, Botulism, and Brucellosis. Biological weapons consist of a kind of substance or disease that is used to launch an attack on a large population of people.
Think of the flu virus in the early 1900’s, it killed thousands of people. The pathogens that make up this virus multiplied over and over until eventually there was an uncontrollable epidemic throughout the United States (Steinbruner, 1997). Many of us think that the influenza virus was an epidemic that will never happen again but then came other biological agents such as smallpox and the deadly anthrax virus. We’ve come to the realization now that biological substances are the weapons of choice. Yes we do have nuclear and chemical weapons that threaten our society, but these weapons aren’t alive.
One of these scourges was smallpox, a highly infectious and deadly disease that causes boils to sprout on the entire body. Once endemic to the entire world, it has been wiped out with mass vaccination efforts by the World Health Organization with the last reported case being in 1977 in Somalia (Tucker 118). The threat of the virus still looms over us, however, with the advent of the age of terrorism. Its transmission method (human to human), the lack of effective treatment, its high mortality rate, and its ease of weaponization has compelled the Centers for Disease Control to classify it as a Category A bioterrorist agent with the highest potential for use as a weapon against civilians (Ryan 41). The smallpox disease is caused by the Variola virus, a virus of the Orthopox family, which also includes cowpox, monkeypox, and other related diseases (Tucker 5).
Since the third century A.D weapons that harness the power of chemical reactions have been used, intended for military use; however, in recent history terrorists have been able to acquire these gaseous weapons of mass destruction. After their release there is no possibility of containing chemical weapons as they are spread by the wind throughout a massive area. There are no moral implications for these weapons as they possess no positive use for society. Chemical weapons have plagued humanity since their creation with their unrestricted slaughter of soldiers and civilians, their use in mass genocides, and the damage caused to the environment. First, over the decades chemical weapons evolved becoming more lethal and easier to create causing the threat for a chemical attack to increase exponentially.
Most biological weapons can be classified as a virus or a disease. If the world was sent into an all-out war it would be blown into the Stone Age because of the effects. The effects range from destruction of crops or livestock and incapacitating people. Bioterrorism has a long history in the health department because it is such a destructive weapon that can help you or it can kill you. Bioterrorism started in 1346 when the Tarter force, in Ukraine, experienced an epidemic of the plague (Bioterrorism n.p.).
It is widely known that a multitude of people use Botox injections for cosmetic purposes without any significant adverse side effects. However, not many Botox patients are aware that what they are injecting into their bodies, botulinum toxin, is one of the most lethal substances known to mankind. This neurotoxin poses a major threat to be used in a bioterrorism attack, killing thousands of people. If it is truly as toxic as scientists claim, then how can botulinum toxin possibly be used in facial injections? This is a very controversial substance that possesses an intriguing mixture of paradoxical uses.
Biological & Chemical Weapons Chaos, fear, and death. Those three words are what most people’s first thoughts are when they see the destructive offspring of either Biological or Chemical Weapons. These Weapons of Mass Destruction (also known as WMD’s) are actually considered the deadliest weapons of all time to not only humans but also to other animals, and plants. Biological and Chemical Warfare has become a major threat not only to the safety to the people of America, but also on the frontlines across the world but, that in order to fix these that the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and Chemical Weapons Convention could do is to make mandatory background checks for anyone who buys any additives that are in any Bio/ Chemical weapons, mandatory safety exercises, and make bans heavier on the use of these weapons in war. What is Biological Warfare?
Bacillus anthracis, the organism that causes anthrax, has been bandied about the media and the American public has been saturated by stories of possible cases and fatalities. One agent not often discussed but every bit as horrifying as anthrax is smallpox. Smallpox is an acute, highly contagious virus disease characterized by prolonged fever, vomiting, and pustular eruptions that often leave pitted scars, or pockmarks, when healed as defined by Webster’s New World College Dictionary. Smallpox, commands respect and the concern of the American public along with that terrorism, of the biological variety, however improbable, is very possible. Smallpox was once large in scope before vaccinations.
As our knowledge increases on these disease-causing agents, so does our fear of future threats of biological warfare (Frischknecht, 2003). Biological warfare can be defined as “living organisms or infected material derived from them, which are used for hostile purposes and intended to cause disease or death in man, animals, and plants, and which depend for their efforts on the ability to multiply in the person, animal, or plant attacked” (Beeching, Dance, Miller, & Spencer, 2002). These agents have a huge impact on agriculture and on human health. History of biological warfare programs Since the beginning of civilization, poisons have been used for assassination purposes. The foundation of microbiology allowed those who were interested in biological weapons, to chose and design different biological agents.