bioterrorism

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The morning of September 11, 2001, Americans experienced vulnerability and realized a new fear, the threat of a bioterrorist attack. In the days that followed the terrorist attacks letters tainted with anthrax began appearing in the U.S. mail. Five Americans were killed and 17 were sickened in what became the worst biological attacks in U.S. history (“Amerithrax or Anthrax Investigation”). Bioterrorism is defined as a criminal act against unsuspecting civilians and a threat to national security with the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, or germs. An attack of bioterrorism is meant to cause illness or death by microorganisms that are found in nature, but they can be made more harmful because of an increased ability to cause and spread disease which resists medical treatment. These biological agents can spread from person to person or can be released into the food supply, water, or air. They can be hard to detect because they may not cause illness for hours or several days, thus giving terrorists an advantage allowing them to go escape undetected until symptoms arise and an attack is suspected. Biological weapons are appealing because they are often easy to obtain and inexpensive, and can be easily distributed. The main objective of bioterrorism is to cause panic and terror, not necessarily casualties. The social disruption they cause can be far worse than any actual damage. The terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, brought to light the need to enhance the security of the United States and brought about the spending of billions of government and private spending to defend the U.S. against a possible future act of bioterrorism. Congress passed the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Respons... ... middle of paper ... ...atment. While eliminating future bioterrism attacks may not a reality, successful containment I feel is a more realistic goal which requires us to be prepared by properly educating those first responders involved, effective preparation and planning, as well as efficient communication. Bioterrorism not only has immediate effects on health care and public health agencies but also includes long lasting economic impacts. Psychologically citizens experience heightened fear and change of their daily routines. This results in long lasting psychological effects adding to the trauma of the actual event as well impacting the United States socially and economically. The question will not be if an attack will occur, but rather when and how prepared will we be both immediately following an event, and in dealing with the long lasting consequences economically and socially.

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