can be traced back to 600 BC when Assyrian poisoned the well of their enemies
with fungus agents. Notably, this continued up to 20th century.
Bioterrorism is a terrorist activity, which involves the use of hurtful agents
and items as defined by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The
origin of these products is from biological, which produces microorganism,
which is very dangerous to human beings, animals and animals too, for example
of these agents includes toxins, viruses, bacteria, and fungi. In simple words,
bioterrorism is the use of biological weapon (Annas, 2002). In this case, bioterrorism is related
with healthcare as healthcare personnel needs to research, treat and prepare
for any occurrence of such terror. The bioterrorism is carried out deliberately
during a war to cause health complications to the human body.
these agents are naturally found in the environment, but sometimes they are human
made to make them stronger and resistant to the available medicines. Due to its
easy accessibility and inexpensive, they are widely spread. Consequently, it
causes both mental and physical damage to the affected group. Mostly,
bioterrorism is carried out to fulfill both political and social in a certain
environment (Yih at el. 2004). These agents
can be spread into food, water, air and through contaminated hosts. According
to the recent research biological agents is becoming popular among the
terrorists. As a result, healthcare personnel and related stakeholders are very
concern because bioweapons cause health advance problems to human beings
compared to chemical and nuclear weapons.
can be grouped into three main categories namely A, B, C. category A comprises
of plague, botulism, anthrax, smallpox virus and viral hemorrhagic fever (Annas, 2002). Mainly, this
category can be spread from one person to another.
is caused by the bacterium called Yersinia
pestis. Notably is found in three forms namely, bubonic plague. It is the
most known and affects lymph nodes. The second is called septicemia, which causes internal
bleeding and shock because it resides in the bloodstream. The last one is
called pneumonia plague damages the respiratory area. Yersinia pestis is preferred during the warfare because it can stay
alive in the air for one hour spreading aerosolized. Moreover, this bacterium
is found in rodent animals. Infected rats can pass this bacterium to human
beings through biting of the flea. Immediate symptoms include; coughing, chest
pain, fever, headache, bloody sputum and abdominal pain (Annas, 2002). In particular, this bacterium can be
treated if detected early but until today there is no specific vaccination to
control its occurrence. Its transmission is controlled by placing the patient
in a concealed room, and its movement should be managed.
This disease is caused by Bacillus anthracis bacterium. Notably, this condition is manifested
in three ways namely; gastrointestinal, cutaneous and pulmonary. Mostly, this
bacterium has some spores, which have a hard coat, which enables them to live
in a cruel environment (Yih at el.
2004). Mostly, these spores are found in the soil,
where they later infect the animals such as sheep, horses, and cattle while
grazing. This disease is transmitted by inhalation, by ingestion if food is
contaminated and through contact with the rash. The perfect treatment for this
condition is to administer antibiotics at early stages.
Mainly, this disease is caused by the toxin,
which is produced by Clostridium botulinum bacterium (Siegel at el. 2007). Specifically, this condition is not
contagious from one person to another. It can either be inhaled or swallowed
but can also get into the human body through an open wound. It is harmful to
the human body because it can cause temporary paralysis and can damage the nerves.
Besides, it can lead to respiratory damage and can lead to death.
is a deadly viral disease, which affects people of all ages. In the 20th
century, it caused the death of many people because it is contagious and can be
transmitted from one person to another (Siegel at el. 2007). Its
symptoms are visible and easy to detect, for example, high fever, vomiting,
painful rashes, backache, and headache. It can be treated by vaccination if
detected in four days after infection.
Category B is easy quite to disseminate, but it
lows mortality rates and moderate morbidity. Some of these diseases include
glanders, Q fever, melioidosis, rising, and typhus. Lastly, category C contained
its agents available and transmitted, like category B it also lows morbidity
and mortality rate (Siegel at
el. 2007). It entails diseases
such as Nipah Virus, Hantavirus, and Multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis (MTB)
severe acute respiratory syndrome.
The danger of bioterrorism is rated to
healthcare in different ways, for example, it exposes security of all county
into a high risk and the health of its citizens (Siegel at el. 2007). In the recent years Russian, Iraq, United States and Japan are good
examples indicating how citizen and their security personnel were affected by
these bioterrorism attacks. The first danger is the lack of preparedness of
healthcare as bioterrorism is hard to detect and prevent its occurrences.
Further, during bioterrorism event healthcare may have difficulties providing
quality services to all patients (Wynia, Gostin, 2004). In
addition, due to a large number of infected during bioterrorism attack; there
are not enough facilities to facilitate all patients.
The number of health personnel may not be
enough to take care of all patients during bioterrorism events (Siegel at el. 2007). Further, it is difficult to detect when
bioterrorism will occur hence making it hard for healthcare to plan. In
addition, there are most of the bioterrorism diseases do not have an immediate
cure. As a result, if not discover at early stages it has high chances to advance
problems or even death.
The best way to eliminate bioterrorism is to
reduce the availability of the agents used to make and prepare bioterrorism
weapons (Wynia, Gostin, 2004). For example, in 2001 US introduced mitigation
policies, among them includes biosecurity, which protects biological materials
from sabotage or theft. Mainly, this will assist in the control of bioterrorism
attacks. Another, great idea to confront bioterrorism attack can by educating
community worldwide of the importance of human life and health for each citizen
(Yih at el. 2004). In addition, they should be taught on the immediate and
advance consequences of using bioterrorism in any country. Lastly, the
government in all countries should introduce harsh penalties for victims found
intending to use or using bioterrorism materials. Consequently, this will
discourage people from getting involved in such activities.
The healthcare is more concern on the means to
expand its facilities to identify permanent treatment for bioterrorism diseases
(Wynia, Gostin, 2004). On the other hand, many governments are
dedicated to coming up with appropriate method to control any occurrence of
bioterrorism attacks. In this case, the community should come together to
identify the best way to stop any related bioterrorism attack. In conclusion,
bioterrorism attacks are dangerous to all people in the world, and each
scientist and artist should report any attempt or suspicion to such attacks.