shadypines Posted March 8, 2006 Share Posted March 8, 2006 Biological Terrorism I. Because biological weapons are easy to manufacture as well as easy to deploy, they have, at times, been referred to as a “poor man’s nuclear bomb” A. Biological weapons have the capability of injuring or killing hundreds of thousands of people. B. It is also the intent of terrorists to use biological terrorism to cripple our food and water sources. C. FEMA suggests the following procedures should be before a biological attack takes place. 1.“Check with your doctor to ensure all required or suggested immunizations are up to date. a. Children and older adults are particularly vulnerable to biological agents.” 2. Consider installing a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter in your furnace return duct. These filters remove particles in the 0.3 to 10 micron range and will filter out most biological agents that may enter your house. If you do not have a central heating or cooling system, a stand-alone portable HEPA filter can be used. D. Biological agents can be classified into three groups. They are: 1. Bacteria 2. Viruses 3. Toxins II. Bacterial Bological Agents A. Antrax: caused by anthrax bacteria or it spores. There are three types: 1. Inhalational : Breathe in the spores 2. Cutaneous (skin). Spores are introduced through cuts and or abrasions into the body. 3. Gastrointestinal: eating the contaminated meat of INfected animals that is not properly cooked. Intestinal anthrax is very rare. B. Anthrax cannot be passed from person to person. III. Viruses Viruses are the simplest type of microorganism and are much smaller than bacteria. Viruses lack a system for their own metabolism and are therefore dependent on host cells to provide the necessary machinery for them to survive. Small pox is a virus A. Small pox is spread by through direct contact with respiratory droplets, aerosols, secretions and skin lesions of an infected person. B. Small pox is highly contagious from the time the rash appears until the last pox falls off. 1. Direct and fairly prolonged face- to-face contact (less than six hours but more than three hours) generally is required to spread smallpox from person-to-person. C. Although less common, it can be transmitted through contact with contaminated clothing or bedding. D. Animals or insects cannot spread smallpox. IV. Toxins: Biological toxins are poisonous (toxic) substances that are produced by a variety of living organisms such as fungi, flowering plants, bacteria and animals. A. Staphylococcal enterotoxin B is an example of a toxin which could be used by terrorists. B. Thrives in unrefrigerated meats, dairy and bakery products. 1. Usually does not cause death but is a temporary. 2. Profoundly incapacitating illness lasting as long as 2 weeks. V. Biological terrorism is hard to detect. A . If the government officials were aware of an attack, they would give directions through the Early Alert System (EAS) to either shelter in place or evacuate immediately. B. However, most attacks would be completed before government officials were aware of such an attack. VI. Possible warning signs if a biological attack A. Animals or people dying. VII. What can you do to be safer. A. A common facemask - the N95 dust mask - will provide protection against such agents as anthrax. These masks are inexpensive and readily available at hardware stores. B. Shelter in place: 1. Stay in a building or other shelter. 2. If you are outdoors, go inside immediately. 3. If there are contaminants, you can provide a minimal amount of protection by covering your mouth and nose with a cloth or other material such as newspaper. 4. If you have to gather up family members, protect your body as much as possible. 5 If possible, bring your pets indoors, but do not put yourself at risk for your pets. 6. Locate and keep your disaster supplies kit with you. 7. Close all windows. Turn off all fans, heating and air conditioning systems. Close the fireplace damper. 8. Go to an aboveground room (not the basement) with the fewest windows and doors. 9. Wet some towels and jam them in the crack under the doors. Use duct tape to seal around doors, windows, exhaust fans and vents. Use plastic garbage bags to cover windows, outlets and heat registers. 10. Stay in the room and listen to your Emergency Alert System (EAS) radio and television station for information and instruction or until you are told all is safe. Link to comment
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