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Blog posts tagged with 'detection'

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.

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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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.

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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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Bomb hidden in body in Saudi attack "invisible" to normal detection

Re-printed from Homeland Security Newswire

A terrorist in Saudi Arabia tried to kill the Saudi antiterror chief by carrying explosives inside his body; experts say there are “tremendous implications for airport security with the potential of making it even more complicated to get on to your plane”

HSNW wrote two weeks ago about a terrorist using explosives concealed inside his body who blew himself up on receipt of a mobile phone signal (9 September 2009). The terrorist passed through several checks undetected. The attack has security experts very worried that this method is likely to become a real threat.

The intention was to kill a Saudi prince, who happened to be the chief of antiterrorism operations in Saudi Arabia in a complex plot involving the terrorist gaining access to the target by pretending to defect.

An important point to glean from this unbelievable attempted murder/suicide has got to be that the enemy we are battling in this war will resort to anything to martyr themselves for the cause. Do any of us in the west really think that our way of life is not in jeopardy? (Oh yeah, I forgot, we are no longer involved in that conflict, therefore a majority of Americans are being lulled into a false sense of security.)

We better believe that any weapons of mass destruction these zealots come upon will be used against the most innocent among us. Thus the need for preventative measures throughout our communities. We at AdVnt BioTechnologies feel that our biological agent detection devices are just what the doctor orders for simple, fast and accurate screening devices that can be properly operated by any twelve year old. I know, my twelve year old, Jake has proven it time and time again.

If you want to be prepared for the inevitable bioweapons event to come our way, then visit AdVnt’s website and see what it will take for you to become a viable bio-sensor for your community, neighborhood and family.

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