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Blog posts tagged with 'bio threat'

After ten years anthrax is still a threat

 

 

Despite the passage of ten years, the threat of an anthrax, or similar attempt of bioterrorism still looms large over the United States. Stringent security measures are in place to scan the US mail systems. Since September 2001 when these bioterrorism attacks started, the postal authorities have responded to around 52,000 calls concerning suspicious mails. The US Postal Inspectors office has implemented the best detection technologies available in today’s marketplace. One of the threat detectors used by the US Postal Inspectors Office is Advnt’s Pro Strip Rapid Detection System.

The US authorities are making no compromise over such threats and anyone taking it light has to face imprisonment under the same charges. Likewise Jay Stuart DeVaughn, who wrote 26 letters to President Obama and others inscribed with “Take a whiff of this”, landed him in jail for six-year imprisonment. Again, Advnt’s Pro Strip is a product utilized by the US Secret Service, due to it’s unique operating capabilities, the ease of use, sensitivity and specificity make it a must have for “pointy-end-of-the-sword” assets that guard the most prized targets.

Though the white powder inside the letters later proved to be a coffee sweetener and no one was harmed, the event raised suspicions of being an Anthrax-like attack, of which now hundreds occur every year in this country. In 2001-02, the multiple attacks of anthrax delivered in letters killed fifteen people and injured many others and illuminated the inherent security weaknesses of the mail industry.

Most American’s have forgotten the entire issue. Perhaps incidents like that of DeVaughn may help bring the anthrax and bioterrorism case back into the news. I’ve found that the US media purposefully does not report about the hundreds of false threats that occur each year in America.

As per revised security parameters, the postal system now depends on both manual checks as well as machine screenings. The postal inspectors receive multiple calls daily on postal security with the majority of them being false alarms. Regardless, such calls show that anthrax threats are still at the top of the preparedness chain requiring utilization of state-of-the-art, instantaneous bio-threat screening systems like Advnt’s Pro Strip Rapid Screening System.

Historically anthrax has been used as a deadly weapon for centuries. Biological and chemical agents have been used throughout history. Individuals, as well as organized groups, use these naturally occurring agents to attempt murder. Just 60 years ago a woman was arrested in 1952 after she mailed a box full of cyanide-laced Bon Caramels to her estranged husband who was doubtful of it and called the legal authorities.

Another horrid mail related crime involved Theodore Kaczynski who killed three people and injured 23 over 15 years by sending mail bombs. He was finally arrested in the mid 90’s. A few years ago, inspectors arrested a West Virginia man for mailing an improvised explosive device to a former neighbor in Minnesota. He’s serving 2½ years in prison.

Bottom line appears to be that living in an open and free society is fraught with many security leaks. Organized groups and sick individuals will always have ample opportunity to strike with deadly agents to attempt pre-meditated murder on an individual or communities of people who are un-suspecting of the threat.

After ten years anthrax is still a threat

Despite the passage of ten years, the threat of an anthrax, or similar attempt of bioterrorism still looms large over the United States. Stringent security measures are in place to scan the US mail systems. Since September 2001 when these bioterrorism attacks started, the postal authorities have responded to around 52,000 calls concerning suspicious mails. The US Postal Inspectors office has implemented the best detection technologies available in today’s marketplace. One of the threat detectors used by the US Postal Inspectors Office is Advnt’s Pro Strip Rapid Detection System.

The US authorities are making no compromise over such threats and anyone taking it light has to face imprisonment under the same charges. Likewise Jay Stuart DeVaughn, who wrote 26 letters to President Obama and others inscribed with “Take a whiff of this”, landed him in jail for six-year imprisonment. Again, Advnt’s Pro Strip is a product utilized by the US Secret Service, due to it’s unique operating capabilities, the ease of use, sensitivity and specificity make it a must have for “pointy-end-of-the-sword” assets that guard the most prized targets.

Though the white powder inside the letters later proved to be a coffee sweetener and no one was harmed, the event raised suspicions of being an Anthrax-like attack, of which now hundreds occur every year in this country. In 2001-02, the multiple attacks of anthrax delivered in letters killed fifteen people and injured many others and illuminated the inherent security weaknesses of the mail industry.
Most American’s have forgotten the entire issue. Perhaps incidents like that of DeVaughn may help bring the anthrax and bioterrorism case back into the news. I’ve found that the US media purposefully does not report about the hundreds of false threats that occur each year in America.

As per revised security parameters, the postal system now depends on both manual checks as well as machine screenings. The postal inspectors receive multiple calls daily on postal security with the majority of them being false alarms. Regardless, such calls show that anthrax threats are still at the top of the preparedness chain requiring utilization of state-of-the-art, instantaneous bio-threat screening systems like Advnt’s Pro Strip Rapid Screening System.

Historically anthrax has been used as a deadly weapon for centuries. Biological and chemical agents have been used throughout history. Individuals, as well as organized groups, use these naturally occurring agents to attempt murder. Just 60 years ago a woman was arrested in 1952 after she mailed a box full of cyanide-laced Bon Caramels to her estranged husband who was doubtful of it and called the legal authorities.

Another horrid mail related crime involved Theodore Kaczynski who killed three people and injured 23 over 15 years by sending mail bombs. He was finally arrested in the mid 90’s. A few years ago, inspectors arrested a West Virginia man for mailing an improvised explosive device to a former neighbor in Minnesota. He’s serving 2½ years in prison.

Bottom line appears to be that living in an open and free society is fraught with many security leaks. Organized groups and sick individuals will always have ample opportunity to strike with deadly agents to attempt pre-meditated murder on an individual or communities of people who are un-suspecting of the threat.

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

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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Agri-Terror/Biothreat or Just a Killer E.coli Out Break???

Does the answer really matter?

I suppose it does to somebody, not to any of the dead or their families.

The “Health officials” are still not to sure where the nasty little killer came from. More importantly, they do not know how to keep this from happening the next time.

Health officials have mistakenly identified the source of the deadly E. coli outbreak more than once.; All they really know is an outbreak has killed at least twenty-two people and left more than 600 in critical condition.

Authorities have tested eighteen sprout mixtures, but their results showed that they were not the source of the outbreak. A few weeks ago authorities pointed to Spanish cucumbers, only to have to admit they were wrong. Yet the big news continues to be that the food guys are losing as much as $290 million a week. Spain is left holding the bag and their reputation is sullied.

Authorities have tested eighteen sprout mixtures including beans, peas, garlic, and radishes, but results showed that they were not the source of the outbreak. The sprouts in question originated from an organic farm in a region near Hamburg.

Further tests have revealed that the E.coli found in the cucumbers contained a different strain of bacteria than the current outbreak.

The bogus identification has greatly impacted the Spanish economy with officials estimating that Spain’s fruit and vegetable exporters are losing nearly $300 million a week.

Despite the German government’s findings that Spanish cucumbers were not the cause of the outbreak, wary consumers across Europe have stayed away from all of Spain’s produce. Russia and Qatar have even gone so far as to halt all fresh-produce imports from Europe.

Are you getting a feeling about how huge this mess really is? And how powerless the “Authorities” really are to stop it?

The current outbreak plaguing Germany is from a particularly rare and deadly strain of E. coli that has affected more than 1,700 people.

The infection results in bloody diarrhea, sever cramps, and fevers, but more than 500 patients are suffering from a deadly complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), where the bacteria begins producing toxins that attack the kidney and nervous system.

According to the World Health Organization, 103 people in twelve countries have been affected by the outbreak. All but one were found to have recently travelled to Germany.

American health officials have reported four suspected cases of the infection from people who recently travelled to Hamburg, Germany.

I’ve recounted all this to just ask a very simple question, “Is relying on the “Authorities” to solve all our problems serving us well?

All one needs to do is look at the record. Then start to figure out, “how can I be a bit more self reliant to protect myself and my family?”

Advnt’s product’s are focused on being simple to use, yet very robust, specific and sensitive to detecting the biological targets which can make you dead.

Thanks for reading. I’ll try to bring more articles for your interest.

Please share your thoughts about my perspective.

My Best to You and Yours,

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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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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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US to Face Biological Attack within Five Years

WASHINGTON – The terrorism threat to the United States during the next five years will be driven by instability in the Middle East and Africa, persistent challenges to border security, and increasing Internet savvy, says a new intelligence assessment obtained by The Associated Press.

Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear attacks are considered the most dangerous threats that could be carried out against the U.S. But those threats are also the most unlikely because it is so difficult for al-Qaida and similar groups to acquire the materials needed to carry out such plots, according to the internal Homeland Security Threat Assessment for the years 2008-2013.

As a Bioweapons industry participant for the past five years it is reassuring to see the increasing momentum and some very significant changes to “policy initiatives” by two of the leading Federal Agencies responsible for validating leading edge detection technologies becoming available in the US marketplace in 2008. These “policy changes” are actually allowing the First-Responder communities to move forward in acquiring new technologies which are expanding our country’s capabilities in preparing for the seemingly inevitable CBRNe attack that “reportably” is headed our way sometime in the next five years.

My next post will be focused on an increasing threat, “The Coming Threat of Agri-Terrorism”.

Thank you in advance for your interest in our country’s coming fight on our own soil. Be strong. Be prepared. Be vigilant.

The Shadow Warrior.

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