Ask anyone to name a current infectious disease, and what comes to mind is the flu, common cold, and perhaps the Ebola or Zika viruses. However, mention the plague, and many believe that it no longer exists; relegated to the history books emerging first back in 541AD as the Justinain Plague or the Black Death of 1334, originating in China and spreading along the great trade routes to Constantinople and on to Europe where it claimed over an estimated 60% of the population ("Plague Homepage", 2015). Yet, the plague was once considered the deadliest of diseases, has been discovered as recently as 2015, in the states along the western coast of the U.S.
All three types of the plague, Bubonic, Septicemic, and Pneumonic, have been classified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention as a Category A agent, and the speculation that it could be weaponized due to its highly contagious nature that also has a high mortality rate, especially if left untreated. The plague bacterium, Yersinia pestis, is usually transmitted from rodents to humans through the bite of an infected flea, and the pneumonic plague infection is spread through infected droplets in the sick person’s cough or sneeze. Nevertheless, the plague has been used as a biological weapon fo...
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... prevent the further spread of the disease, but by failing to do so, the loss of public trust and acceptance would be massive. Finally, adequate medical countermeasures and preparation must be developed to support a collaborative international response to “destabilize epidemics, whether of natural causes or the result of bioterrorism” (Hamilton & Smith, 2006).
The purpose of this paper will be to identify the information and intelligence gaps in the Nation’s Preparedness planning program, and introduce a basic biosecurity outline for a large scale pandemic on a national scale. Biosecurity remains one of the biggest global and national security challenges in the 21st century and they must be stronger than any potential bioweapon used against the U.S. or any novel infectious, communicable disease that emerges which threatens the health and well-being of the citizens.
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