Current Affairs: Anthrax as a Bioterrorism Weapon

By Asha Gupta|Updated : June 29th, 2021

Given the modalities of coronavirus infection, biological weapons and bioterrorism have come to the center of discussion. With the increase in the manufacture of modern weapons, a significant change was seen in the traditional method of the era. A new method is also of biological weapons. Through bioterrorism, it is often attacked with the help of new technology with viruses or bacteria, which are many times more dangerous than other weapons.

 Anthrax as a bioterrorism weapon

INTRODUCTION:

Given the modalities of coronavirus infection, biological weapons and bioterrorism have come to the center of discussion. With the increase in the manufacture of modern weapons, a significant change was seen in the traditional method of the era. A new method is also of biological weapons. Through bioterrorism, it is often attacked with the help of new technology with viruses or bacteria, which are many times more dangerous than other weapons.

Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax):

In the modern era, biological weapons were first used by German soldiers in World War I (1914–18) by bacteria from “anthrax” and glanders. In 2001, there were several cases of an anthrax attack in the United States, in which terrorists sent anthrax-infected letters to the offices of the US Congress, due to which five people died. This incident had given considerable force to the need to develop measures for biosecurity and protection against bio-invasion at the national and international levels. About 200 types of bacteria, viruses, fungi are present in the environment as carriers of bioterrorism. It is a large, aerobic, spore-forming, gram-positive, rod-shaped microorganism that is capsulated and non-motile. This microorganism grows in the chain.

  • A severe infectious disease caused by Bacillus anthracis.
  • People can contact through the contaminated animal products and as contacted with Animals its self.

Types of Anthrax with their symptoms develop within six days of exposure to the bacteria:

  1. Cutaneous anthrax: Swelling in the sore and nearby lymph glands, fever and headache, itchy bump resembling an insect bite.
  2. Gastrointestinal anthrax: Vomiting, Abdominal pain, Headache, Loss of appetite, Fever, Swollen neck.
  3. Inhalation anthrax: Mild chest discomfort, Shortness of breath, Nausea, coughing up blood, Painful swallowing, High fever, Trouble breathing, Shock.
  4. Injection anthrax: Redness at the area of injection, Significant swelling, Shock, Multiple organ failure, Meningitis.

 Prevention & Anthrax Treatment:

  • Antibiotics 60-day treatment — ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, and levofloxacin are recommended for adults and children.
  • Anthrax vaccine-A three-dose series.
  • In some cases, treatment with monoclonal immunizers — raxibacumab.
  • At last, an anthrax vaccine is available for prevention.
  • Avoid contact with herd and animal skins possible in anthrax-afflicted countries.

Sometimes even antibiotics do not work in the case of anthrax increase. If the disease is in the late stage or near it, then, in that case, the bacteria make such a large amount of toxin in the body that the medicines are not able to eliminate it. Antitoxin therapy was introduced in the US in 2001 following the effects of the disease. Instead of destroying the bacteria causing the disease, this method helps to eliminate the toxins produced by the infection. These drugs are still considered experimental. In some cases of injection and break, the infected tissue is successfully treated by surgical removal of the infected tissue.

Synopsis:

Bacillus thrust anthrax first came to public knowledge when letters containing unidentified white powder were sent to you in the fall of 2001 as senate offices and media outlets claimed the white powder was the spore of the deadly bacteria name bacillus anthracis. The anthrax letter attacks killed five among the infected 22, and most of the cases of anthrax transmission are through skin contact with spores. Still, inhalation anthrax is the deadliest form when you inhale the spores those little. It travels to your lungs, and then immune cells will carry them to lymph nodes.

Respiratory anthrax has a mortality rate of 50 to 80%; within 2- or 4-days exposure, victims would come down with flu-like symptoms, and the scariest part is that the anthrax virus has a very long life. They can sit on the shelf for 50 years or more and still pose a lethal threat to date. Anthrax is one of the most feared and well-known biological weapons.

 

Thanks 
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Asha GuptaAsha GuptaMember since Mar 2021
Associate Content Developer - AE/JE Non-technical
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Akshay Swarnkar
Such a high level information we gets thanks mam

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Mechanical Engg.GATEGATE MEHPCLBARC SOESEIES MEBARC ExamISRO ExamOther Exams
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