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Blog posts tagged with 'Biowarfare'

FBI Investigates Newest Anthrax Inhalation Exposure Case in US.

Government health officials have investigated a case of anthrax exposure after tests confirmed that a hospitalized individual had been infected with the dangerous bacteria; due to the deadly nature of anthrax and its feared use as a biological weapon back in 2001-02, the FBI joined Minnesota health officials in the investigation.

At least fourteen people died in 2002 in the last instances of undeniable anthrax terrorism in the USA.

Officials have concluded that the hospitalized individual became infected naturally after encountering the “non-weaponized” bacteria during his travels. The individual had travelled through several western states before becoming admitted for treatment in Minnesota.

An epidemiologist with the state, concluded that “Evidence points to this case of anthrax being caused by exposure to naturally occurring anthrax in the environment.”

What kind of a generalized, non-descriptive statement is this? Yes, it seems re-assuring in some sense, however, if the hearer had any understanding of how difficult this in fact is to occur, that being inhalation infection, you would be scratching your head, as we are.

I suppose this statement is made in hopes of assuring us that this was not a successful domestic terrorist attack utilizing highly concentrated weaponized anthrax. In such an instance there would be a large amount of suspicious white powder and some broadcast by a radicalized group taking responsibility for the terror evoking event.

In this instance, the individual had been exposed to soil and animal remains where the anthrax bacteria can easily be grown. The bacteria is known to develop in hooved animal carcasses each year in certain areas around the world.

The FBI determined that there was no evidence to suggest that the individual was infected as part of a criminal or terrorist act and the agency is no longer actively investigating the incident.

Health officials were careful to note that the public need not worry about potential anthrax exposure as these cases are extremely rare, unless you come in contact with the infectious source.

Health officials stressed that the case does not represent an increased risk of anthrax for the public. “Anthrax is not spread from person to person, and it is extremely rare for humans to become sickened with anthrax, especially through inhalation,” an official reported.

Only in rare cases do individuals become infected with anthrax by handling infected animal carcasses or ingest contaminated soil or meat from infected animals. People can also become infected by handling contaminated wool or hides from infected animals.

If this un-suspecting victim would have known about the world’s most effective hand-held anthrax detection device, AdVnt Biotechnologies’ “BADD” Anthrax environmental detection screening device, they would have known in less than fifteen (15) minutes that they were exposed to an infectious dose of the deadly bacteria. They could have saved their own life!

So consider, for your own personal safety and security, if you are going to be placed in harm’s way maybe being prepared and ready to screen for this deadly bacteria or a deadly toxin, like Botulinum or Ricin the technology exists today for less than $300. USD.

For a clear and concise understanding of the significance of this one event, I would draw attention to an article of some importance. “Pathogenic Ecology: Where have all the pathogens gone? Anthrax: A Classic Case.”

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ANCIENT BIOTHREATS part II

It is the year 184 BC and you are a soldier on a Pergamene Ship headed to Carthage to confront the opposing forces of that mega barbarion superstar known as Hannibal. As you near your destination and prepare to put all the years of your razor sharp warfare training and barbarian bashing expertise to the test, your are focused on how you are going to show this tyrant what a real warrior is all about. When suddenly, and without warning, something in the corner of your eye blocks out the sun for just a tic and catches your attention. then CRASH.

A large object clay pot shatters on the deck of your ship. Your first reaction is to grab some water or a blanket fearing the enemy has attacked your vessel with a pot of burning oil and coal, but instead of flames and smoke spreading on the deck of the ship, you are shocked to discover that lying among broken shards of clay fragments are hundreds of poisonous snakes of various varieties slithering and swarming all over the deck in all directions. Cobra’s sliding under the feet of those beloved slaves chained to the oars. Large Black Mamba’s wrapping themselves around post, and disrupting the captain’s afternoon tea. These fanged vermin are angry and not feeling very loved. Why should they? After being packed in a cramped pot like moldy roman grain and tossed through the air like the heads of Roman disidents at a gladiator free for all, these snakes have a serious attitude problem. Fast and vicious, within seconds they have already have bitten more then half the crew. The few remaining stoic warriors have decided to take their chances in the shark infested ocean waters and bravely abandon ship.

Before you can join in this decision to run away, you find yourself surrounded by a swarm of fanged attitude and the only thing you know to do besides scream like a captured carpathian in hot boiling oil is to start beating these misplaced reptilians with your trusty sword. But these snakes are fast and three of them have already gotten a few bites in on your sandal-clad ankles while several others are squirming closer. As the poision starts to set in, confusion and frustration starts to slowly give way to a sinking feeling swimming around in your head as neurotoxin courses through your veins and nausea and pain begin to register shades of Elysian Fields. Your last thoughts is the realization of why you hate snakes. Let there be no doubt about it, Biowarfare is a nasty business and not for the mortally challenged.

With the passage of time comes change, instead of clay pots, biowarfare can come in the form of a dirty bomb, a discarded package, a letter sent by the mailman, the happy fellow you have known since high school or a misplaced clay pot full of scorpions sitting unnoticed on the promenade deck of a large luxury liner. Strange has it may seem, some things never change. Although most modern bioterrorist find bravery in not confronting their enemies face to face, it is safe to say they too are afraid of snakes. Though proven to be a formidable weapon, snakes have now slithered aside and have been replaced by prayer books and lab coats. Clay shards now look like powders or toxic gasses and instead of a few hundred crewmembers on a long wooden war vessel; the victims are now in shopping malls, school yards and sports arenas can now number in the tens of thousands. Let there be not doubt about it, these are not the good times.

Now lets take a look at that sword and the improvements that can only come with the blessings of time. Back in the day, the sword would have held back a few of the vermin, but even the craftiest war trained soldier would have found himself at a great disadvantage. Now the snakes are powders and liquids and a simple 2-inch by 3-inch plastic hand held device and an easy to use plastic buffer bottle that can test suspicious bio threat residuals with given results in less then ten minutes. With that type of knowledge in hand, first responders will be able to make valued decisions that can save the lives of millions, making it better then a sword and much easier to carry.

Though not designed to ward off a pot full and angry vipers, AdVnt Biotechnologies newly extended line of Bio Warfare detection devices are both time and field tested to support bio threat first responders with rapid need to know information that many of us rather not know. Detecting threats for Anthrax, Ricin, SEB, Botulinum, Plaque or Tularemia, AdVnt’s BADD single test and Pro-Strip Rapid Screening System are the tools to have when confronted with a real-time biowarfare situation. And with the addition of the new Tularemia test device, the blanket of threat detection as spread even wider.

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The Long Lasting Legacy of Biowarfare

What was once known as ‘Germ Warfare’ for decades is now being termed ‘Biowarfare or Bioterrorism in keeping with the current state of affairs. Unfortunately biowarfare is not a new tactic in warfare, in fact biowarefare’s roots go way back to the ancient history of dirty warfare tactics. One example of ancient biowarfare assults can be found in the fourteenth century when Asian armies catapulted the bodies of plague victims over city walls to infect the entrapped population of a fortified city. Later, during the French and Indian Wars in the United States, a British Military officer is reported to have given unsuspecting Indians blankets infected with small pox resulting in several fatalities. The US militia are said to have continued this same tactic on the American Indians as the US expanded further into the western territories.
In Modern times, in Sverdlovsk Russia, anthrax spores were released from a military facility some 1450 km east of Moscow resulted in 100 deaths in 1979. That same year, Ricin another biological warfare toxin is said to be a preferred poison with the KGB, was used to coat the assassin’s bullet that killed Bulgarian dissident writer Georgi Markov on September 7, 1978. The use of anthrax spores as a weapon was implemented in WW II when both Japan and Great Britain tested weapons carrying anthrax spores.
The development in recent times of genetic engineering holds the grim and disturbing promise of manufactured toxins never before experienced on this planet. Genetically altering already harmful microorganisms into super harmful mutations is no longer the stuff of science fiction and comic book villains. Biological Warfare and all its’ ramifications as been with us throughout our history and promises to become more formidable as we move forward into the future.
In 2003 AdVnt biotechnologies sought to pave the way in responding to the growing threat of biowarfare by creating a rapid hand held assay that would give hazmat, and emergency first responder teams a way to identify a biowarfare agent in less then 15 minutes, giving these teams plenty of time to make important containment decisions and save the lives of millions. Thanks to this pioneering technology, a rapid, low-cost solution to biowarfare threats has been greatly diminished.
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The Silent threat at home

Bioterrorism can come at us in ways we can’t imagine. From that pesky geo-political terrorist to the silent enemies hiding within our own home, the threat of global biowarfare has become an ongoing ever-changing organism. In the wake of the nations crippling healthcare crisis, the need to be concerned for ones health is now more then ever more important for individuals to do all that they can to ensure their own personal well being as well as that of their own families. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as reported that the presence of black mold in a home can cause a multitude of health related illness beginning with but not limited to respiratory illnesses, memory loss, chronic fatigue, dizziness, the list goes on. Those who have Asthma, HIV, or have challenged immune systems are at an even greater risk. Add to this the understanding that Mold can be undetected in your home, hiding in vents; behind walls and under floorboards, the infestation becomes even more life threatening. Soon AdVnt Biotechnologies will bring its bioterrorism expertise closer to the home front with its new ‘Informant’ in home mold detection system. Informant is a personal, easy to use mold detection kit that will allow the concerned homeowner a way to reliably and safely test for the presence of black mold in their living environment. Expected for release in mid to late May, Informant could be the first line of defense against the ever-increasing cost of healthcare.

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