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Blog posts tagged with 'First Response Teams'

History of Biowarfare Part III - Now For Something Completely Horrific

From a historical perspective, anthrax is probably the most widely used bio-threat known to humans. Some scholars now believe it to be the nasty soot “morain”, spoken of in the book of Exodus and may also be considered a likely candidate for the “burning wind of plague” that begins Homer’s Illad. Anthropologists have recently determined that Yersina Pestis is without a doubt the plague virus behind the Black Death. If these accusations are correct then its’ safe to say anthrax might be the most well recorded bio-threat to date.

As a weapon, anthrax lives up to its reputation. Those infected with the substance will develop ulcerative puss filled lesions; severe respiratory infections and death within two to three days in most cases. The victims also become infectious to those close to them allowing this nasty toxin to spread like wildfire. Anthrax is a bacterium and can become dormant in the ground in a spore type state for long periods of time before springing back to life and re-infecting all over again. In this regard it is not much different then a mold or fungus.

The use of anthrax bacteria in ancient military campaigns as been recorded going back to biblical times. Some barbarians stooped so low as to use the diseased bodies of its’ victims to poison wells and food supplies, and even to catapult them over the walls of fortified cities under siege. In this century combatants on all sides of conflict carried out the military use of anthrax during World War I. By the time we get to World War II, biowarfare becomes actively financed by government officials who, taking a lesson from history, begin to seek out more advanced ways to exploit deadly toxin and other forms of bio-threats inert potency. Reports are said to prove that allied efforts in Canada, the United States, and Britain sought to develop anthrax-based weapons against Germany, but apparently this was never fully realized.

The growing concern for a substance like anthrax being used on heavily populated areas today is nothing to be taken with a grain of salt. When United Nations inspector’s toured Iraq’s bio-weapons facilities after the Gulf War, they discovered, according to some sources, that the Iraqi’s reportedly had produced up to 10,000 liters of bio-weapons grade anthrax, though some dispute this claim. But a sobering reality of the potential of an attack surfaced when the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo, the same peace-loving group who was responsible for releasing Sarin gas in the Tokyo Subway system, was later discovered to have been close to developing anthrax-based weapons. This group was seeking nothing less then total world domination. Yes, you read that correctly … “Total World Domination“.

After the anthrax attack that followed five days after 9/11, killing five people and infecting 17 others, it became apparent that the best way for a nation to defend itself from such threats was to create a level of preparedness that would limit the impact of this type of terrorist tactic or eliminate the threat completely. It was then determined that one of the most important factors in limiting this kind of damage by such a heinous act would be in the timing that it would take to identify the what type of biological threats were involved. This information would allow first responders to make rapid and reliable decisions that could mean the difference between saving millions of lives vs. the unthinkable horror of a wide spread plague that could devastate vast numbers of a population. The solution to this dilemma of rapid detection and response would be found in the science of biotechnology.

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In order for first responders to know what bio-threat was being presented to them upon receiving that first call to quickly contain the situation, they would require some sort of device that could identify the biological threat as close to the moment of it’s first outbreak as possible. Up until 9/11 no such device existed that could adequately be labeled as rapid detection. The answer to this problem would come in the form of a device known as a chromatographic immunoassay, also known as a hand held assay (HHA). One of the first and best of this kind of test to hit the market was called the BADD single detection test, this test would then later evolve into a multi-threat detection test called the Pro-Strip, allowing for the first time, one test that would give a first responder the ability to read up to 5 threats (Anthrax, Botulinum, Plague, Ricin and SEB toxins) with just one revolutionary device. Created by researches at AdVnt Biotechnologies in Phoenix AZ. these two devices are still being used by military, first response teams and CBRNE teams worldwide due in large part to the consistent reliability, ease of use and cost effective dependability.

As horrific as it must have been to be on the receiving end of bio-terrorism in times past, new, current technologies now exist today that was not available during the times past. With the threat of biological attacks growing more realistic, the likelihood that a highly trained and prepared first response team will have the capabilities to move in quickly, ascertain the situation with rapid, reliable knowledge of the threat involved, downgrade the event from the potential wide spread catastrophe to a much limited and highly contained incident is far more plausible now then at any time in the history of the world.

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It Creeps, It Crawls, it climbs on walls...

For movie fans, this line may bring back memories of a popular 1950′s science fiction movie starring the late great actor Steve McQueen called “The Blob”. In this creature feature a grey slimy glob of space goo from outer space falls to earth with a voracious appetite and proceeds to eat on the denizens of small town USA. As the creature consumes its unwilling victims it takes on the form of a big red glob of goo, hence the making of the creative title. This cosmic space sludge would slowly and methodically ooze its way through floorboards, sink drains, walls and air vents allowing it to sneak up on its unsuspecting victims, cover them up and ingest them. What’s interesting about ‘The Blob’ is that it uses the same exact modes of home invasion as does toxic Black Mold. Areas in homes that have been damp for long periods of time are susceptible to Black Mold spores taking root and settling in and spreading throughout a household as quietly and efficiently has ‘The Blob’. And since it is not a big red glob with molecular stability issues but microscopic airborne spores that can be everywhere and not even be seen, the idea of Black Mold could even be considered more threatening. This concept was not lost on Hollywood either, other such fungi infested features sprung to life in those no to distant days of Hollywood, The classic British yarn “Day of the Triffids” featured cannibalistic space plants that grew out of a space based fungus and the popular “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” were also banking on the fear of the unseen flesh devouring microbes to bring home the box office shivers.

Most recently in the film “The Happening” a mysterious ‘Red Fungus’ comes out of nowhere to cause entire populations of individuals to suddenly have a desire to commit suicide. This of course wrecks havoc on the day-to-day activities of it’s bewildered cast and a ten-dollar hole in the wallets of the unlucky masses that filed in to see this drama play out on a big screen. Unlike the cosmic invaders of yester year, this time the threat is explained as a defense mechanism built into the earth’s eco-system to help maintain a natural balance to human over population, making it an even greater ‘Inconvenient Truth’.

Although we may never see a horror film from Hollywood featuring the horrifically nasty black crawling slime known as “BLACK MOLD” (music builds to crescendo), the amount of damage that this primordial black substance can bring to an unsuspecting household, or an unknowing bystander can be just as horrific. Sometimes reality can be stranger then fiction and the devastation that can come from simple environmental fungi is no exception. Aside from the harsh impact it can have on health and finances, Black Mold has been known to take out more buildings then a man in a rubber Godzilla suit. Millions of dollars are lost every year to buildings that have to be destroyed because no one realized until it was too late that Black Mold, hiding behind walls, growing under floorboards and crawling through vents, had been growing undetected in the dark places. Now, thanks to Hollywood, we all know about those dark places, and it knows what scares you.

Then there’s the innocent victims who sit quietly at home watching a large fish consume unsuspecting beach goers in “Human Sushi II” while microscopic mold spores are unknowingly inhaled into their lungs and up their nostrils causing their immune systems to go to defcon 5. Then after several days, they find themselves short of breath, congested, sore throat, nausea, and suffering from memory loss or screen writer’s block. Many of them will make costly medical visits and consume large amounts of over the counter medications that will at best temporarily alleviate the symptoms but never really cure anything. But then a select few may discover the cause of their woes and respond, but countless others will be trapped in a vicious cycle of ongoing health conditions and over medicated futures.

Then, suddenly, ‘in a world’ where all seems lost, one hero takes the stage, armed with a small plastic device; he single handedly takes on the unseen perpetrator and exposes it for what it is. AdVnt Biotechnologies’ new INFORMANT Black Mold Detection Test as the power to turn innocent victims into well informed problem solvers. With one simple device that can expose the villainous Black Mold Spores in the privacy and comfort of one’s own home, you can now take back control of your health, and save your home from uncertain destruction and save the day with a simple and easy to use tool designed to give rapid results within the time it takes to turn off a cell phone. The INFORMANT is a Hand Held Assay, not unlike a pregnancy test, specifically test positive for the presence of the three types of Black Mold spores and their subspecies that are known by the CDC to create health issues. Stachybotrys, Aspergillus, and Penicillium. Using patented antibodies, each test can show reactivity within 15 minutes or less and can be stored for up to 2 years. AdVnt Biotechnology is one of the leading manufactures of Hand Held Assays used by Home Land Security and First Response Teams worldwide. Rapid Biowarfare Detection is what they do. For years they have helped save countless lives from the biowarfare agents such as Anthrax, Ricin, and Botulinum released by terrorist on unsuspecting civilians in devious plots more sinister then anything dreamed up on a soundstage. Now they have applied their expertise to a different kind of threat on the home front with their new INFORMANT 15 Minute Black Mold Detection Test. Now we won’t need another hero.

To opt in for AdVnt Biotechnologies product updates & notifications follow this link… http://eepurl.com/gYvBv