This page deals with specific biological or chemical agents that we are having to deal with
during the terrorists continuing onslaught since 911. Anytime we recieve new data on new agents
or new data on the anthrax issue it will be placed here ASAP.
As the announcement of the terrorist plot to detonate a radioactive
"dirty bomb" on U.S. soil demonstrates, we must be vigilant to keep our
country safe from such dangers.
The animation above was created when dirty bombs were a hypothetical
concern. The recent news changed that. The animation now reflects a series of events that may have happened actually if law enforcement officials did not stop the al Qaeda operative.
Please forward this to others and ask them to tell Congress to vote "no" on the shipments of nuclear waste.
Click here to let your friends know about the dangers of "dirty bombs" on our highways.
PANIC -- The Real Enemy!
What the CDC & HHS Say You Should Know About Bioterror...
Oct. 18, 2001 --- An alert nation nervously watches for news of the latest anthrax attacks. How safe are we? Pretty darn safe --- so far, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We are not experiencing a national outbreak of anthrax," the CDC's acting deputy director, Julie Gerberding, MD, tells WebMD. "The cases are limited to specific exposures. Most people have nothing to be concerned about."
There's no denying that the U.S. remains a target of terrorists. Also beyond doubt is that one of the most feared terror scenarios has come to pass -- the intentional unleashing of a deadly disease. Lost in the media furor over recent anthrax attacks is the fact that relatively few people actually have been exposed to the germ. And very few people have been infected. As of this writing, just one person -- whose case went unsuspected for weeks -- has died.
This doesn't mean there's no cause for concern. Far more deadly bioterror attacks remain possible, if unlikely. By taking sensible precautions and by acting responsibly, there's a lot you can do.
"Now it has become important for all Americans to learn a little more about anthrax -- both the [skin] and inhalation forms," Gerberding says. "The very first specific thing people should do is to pay a little more attention to things received in the mail. They should be alert for packages seeming suspicious."
To date, all recent anthrax attacks have come via contaminated letters or packages. Here's what to do if you receive a letter or package that you suspect contains anthrax or any other dangerous germs:
Gas masks or respirators won't do much good once an exposure has taken place -- and it's much more likely that you or your children would be injured by improper use of gas masks than by a terrorist attack.
- Do not shake or empty the envelope or package. Do not try to clean up any spilled powder or fluid.
- Put the envelope or package into a plastic bag or other container to prevent the contents from leaking out. If you can't find a container, cover the envelope or package with clothing, paper, or a trash can -- and DON'T remove this cover.
- Leave the room and close the door. Keep other people from entering the room.
- Wash your hands with soap and water.
- Call the local police and report the incident. If you are at work, call your building security officer and/or your supervisor.
- Make a list of all the people who were in the room when you opened the letter or package. Give this list to the police -- and to local public health authorities.
- Remove contaminated clothing and put it into a plastic bag that can be sealed. Give the bag of contaminated clothing to the police.
- Shower with soap and water as soon as you can. Do not use bleach or disinfectant on your skin.
- Do not start taking antibiotics until told to do so by your doctor or by health authorities.
The only reason to begin taking antibiotics for anthrax is if authorities say you might have been exposed to the germ. Nose-swab tests, like those given to workers in the NBC building and in Congress, are only a way to track a potential epidemic, and cannot tell you whether or not you have been infected. "There is no lab test for anthrax exposure," Gerberding says.
Only preventive treatment with antibiotics can keep an exposed person from developing anthrax. To prevent disease, these drugs must be taken after an exposure. In the absence of a suspected exposure, these medicines are more likely to do harm than good. Anthrax vaccine -- a series of six shots over the course of a year, with yearly booster shots -- is not recommended for, or available to, the public. New treatments and vaccines are in development.
Many bioterror diseases begin with the same symptoms as the flu. To reduce your worry -- and the very real chance of getting ill this winter -- the CDC recommends that people get their flu vaccine this year. "People should get their flu shots," Gerberding says. "Now is the time to be especially compulsive about that."
Another good idea is for people to wash their hands regularly -- and properly. Use soap and warm water to scrub the hands for as long as it takes to say the ABCs. And remember to use a paper towel to turn off the faucet, and to open the door as you leave a public restroom.
Gerberding says there is no sign that any bioterror germs other than anthrax are currently being released in the U.S. However, the CDC has released a list of possible agents -- and the early symptoms of disease.
- The most deadly form of this disease comes from anthrax spores inhaled into the lungs. Early symptoms are very much like those of the flu: fever, headache, shortness of breath, a cough, and chest discomfort. These symptoms may seem to get better -- but 2 to 4 days later, the symptoms get much worse. Breathing becomes very difficult, the cough is very bad, and chills accompany the fever.
- The most common form of this disease comes from anthrax spores that grow on the skin -- most often on the hands, arms, and/or face. There is swelling followed by an itchy, fluid-filled bump. After a day or two, this gets bigger and becomes a painless, open ulcer. Tissue in the middle of the ulcer dies and dries into a sunken black area surrounded by swollen skin and purplish bumps.
Pneumonic plague begins with fever, chest pain, and a cough that brings up dark material or blood.
Early symptoms of this deadly food poison are drooping eyelids, weakened jaw clench, difficulty swallowing or speaking, blurred vision, and trouble breathing. Nausea and vomiting accompany botulism poisoning when the germ is eaten, but these symptoms may not occur if the germ or its poisonous byproducts are inhaled.
SMALLPOX: Smallpox begins with the flu-like symptoms of muscle aches and fever. After a few days, a rash develops. This rash looks different than the rash of chicken pox. Chicken pox rash is usually most prominent on the body, and spreads in groups of bumpy lesions over the next few days, so there are bumps at different stages of development. Smallpox rash is most prominent on the face, arms, and legs, and its bumpy lesions all develop at the same time.
The inhaled form of tularemia begins with a sudden, flu-like disease. This gets more serious over the next few days as breathing becomes painful.
These extremely deadly diseases begin with sudden fever, headache, and muscle pain. Other symptoms include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, chest pain, cough, and sore throat. Usually there is a bumpy red rash on the body. Bleeding disorders occur as the disease gets worse.
(can be caused by the Ebola or Marburg virus, among others):
The First Round Of Bio Terror Inflicted Upon America
The FBI has asked people who recognize this handwriting to contact them. You may work with anthrax and notice a co-worker acting suspiciously or notice that the worker writes in this manner. If you have any suspicions that you recognize this handwriting please contact the FBI immediately.
Click On The Images Above To See Them Full Size
Facts About Anthrax
Anthrax is an acute infectious disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax most commonly occurs in hoofed mammals and can also infect humans.
Symptoms of disease vary depending on how the disease was contracted, but usually occur within 7 days after exposure but can be as much as 3 weeks later. The serious forms of human anthrax are inhalation anthrax, cutaneous anthrax, and intestinal anthrax.
Initial symptoms of inhalation anthrax infection may resemble a common cold. After several days, the symptoms may progress to severe breathing problems and shock. Inhalation anthrax is often fatal.
The intestinal disease form of anthrax may follow the consumption of contaminated food and is characterized by an acute inflammation of the intestinal tract. Initial signs of nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, and fever are followed by abdominal pain, vomiting of blood, and severe diarrhea.
Direct person-to-person spread of anthrax is extremely unlikely, if it occurs at all. Therefore, there is no need to immunize or treat contacts of persons ill with anthrax, such as household contacts, friends, or coworkers, unless they also were also exposed to the same source of infection.
In persons exposed to anthrax, infection can be prevented with antibiotic treatment. Early antibiotic treatment of anthrax is essential–delay lessens chances for survival. Anthrax usually is susceptible to penicillin, doxycycline, and fluoroquinolones.
An anthrax vaccine also can prevent infection. Vaccination against anthrax is not recommended for the general public to prevent disease and is not available.
What is anthrax?
Anthrax is an acute infectious disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax most commonly occurs
in wild and domestic lower vertebrates (cattle, sheep, goats, camels, antelopes, and other herbivores), but it can also occur in humans when they are exposed to infected animals or tissue from infected animals.
Why has anthrax become a current issue?
Because anthrax is considered to be a potential
agent for use in biological warfare, the Department of Defense
(DoD) has begun mandatory vaccination of all active duty military personnel who might be involved in conflict.
How common is anthrax and who can get it?
Anthrax is most common in agricultural regions where it occurs in animals. These include South and Central America, Southern and Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. When anthrax affects humans, it is usually due to an occupational exposure to infected animals or their products. Workers who are exposed to dead animals and animal products from other countries where anthrax is more common may become infected with B. anthracis (industrial anthrax). Anthrax in wild livestock has occurred in
the United States.
How is anthrax transmitted?
Anthrax infection can occur in three forms: cutaneous (skin), inhalation, and gastrointestinal. B. anthracis spores can live in the soil for many years, and humans can become infected with anthrax by handling products from infected animals or by inhaling anthrax spores from contaminated animal products. Anthrax can also be spread by eating undercooked meat from infected animals. It is rare to find infected animals in the United States.
What are the symptoms of anthrax?
Symptoms of disease vary depending on how the disease was contracted,
but symptoms usually occur within 7 days.
Cutaneous: Most (about 95%) anthrax infections occur when the bacterium enters a cut or abrasion on
the skin, such as when handling contaminated wool, hides, leather or hair products (especially goat hair) of infected animals. Skin infection begins as a raised itchy bump that resembles an insect bite but within 1-2 days develops into a vesicle and then a painless ulcer, usually 1-3 cm in diameter, with a characteristic black necrotic (dying) area in the center. Lymph glands in the adjacent area may swell. About 20% of untreated cases of cutaneous anthrax
will result in death. Deaths are rare with appropriate antimicrobial therapy.
Inhalation: Initial symptoms may resemble a common cold. After several days, the symptoms may progress to
severe breathing problems and shock. Inhalation anthrax is usually fatal.
Intestinal: The intestinal disease
form of anthrax may follow the consumption of contaminated meat and is characterized by an acute inflammation of the intestinal tract. Initial signs of nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, fever are followed by abdominal pain, vomiting of blood, and severe diarrhea. Intestinal anthrax results in death in 25% to 60% of cases.
Where is anthrax usually found?
Anthrax can be found globally. It is more common in developing
countries or countries without veterinary public health programs. Certain regions of the world (South and Central America, Southern and Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East) report more anthrax in animals than others.
Can anthrax be spread from person-to-person?
Direct person-to-person spread of anthrax is extremely unlikely to occur. Communicability is not a concern in managing or visiting with patients with inhalational anthrax.
Is there a way to prevent infection?
In countries where anthrax is common and vaccination levels of animal herds are low, humans should avoid contact with
livestock and animal products and avoid eating meat that has not been properly slaughtered and cooked. Also, an anthrax vaccine has been licensed for use in humans. The vaccine is reported to be 93% effective in protecting against anthrax.
What is the anthrax vaccine?
The anthrax vaccine is manufactured and distributed by BioPort, Corporation, Lansing, Michigan. The vaccine is a cell-free filtrate vaccine, which means it contains no dead or live bacteria
in the preparation. The final product contains no more than 2.4 mg of aluminum hydroxide as adjuvant. Anthrax vaccines intended for animals should not be used in humans.
Who should get vaccinated against anthrax?
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
has recommend anthrax vaccination for the following groups:
- Persons who work directly with the organism in the laboratory
- Persons who work with imported animal hides or furs in areas where standards are insufficient to prevent exposure to anthrax spores.
- Persons who handle potentially infected animal products in
high-incidence areas. (Incidence is low in the United States, but veterinarians who travel to work in other countries where incidence is higher should consider being vaccinated.)
- Military personnel deployed to areas with high risk for exposure to the organism (as when it is used as a biological warfare weapon).
The anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program in the U.S. Army Surgeon General's Office can be reached at 1-877-GETVACC (1-877-438-8222).
Pregnant women should be vaccinated only if absolutely necessary.
What is the protocol for anthrax vaccination?
The immunization consists of three subcutaneous injections given 2 weeks apart followed by three additional subcutaneous injections
given at 6, 12, and 18 months. Annual booster injections of the vaccine are recommended thereafter.
Are there adverse reactions to the anthrax vaccine?
Mild local reactions occur in 30% of recipients and consist of slight tenderness and redness at the injection site. Severe local reactions are infrequent and consist of extensive swelling of the forearm in addition to the local reaction. Systemic reactions occur in fewer than 0.2% of recipients.
How is anthrax diagnosed?
Anthrax is diagnosed by isolating B. anthracis from the blood, skin lesions, or respiratory secretions or by measuring specific antibodies in the blood of persons with suspected cases.
Is there a treatment for anthrax?
Doctors can prescribe effective antibiotics. To be effective, treatment should be initiated early. If left untreated, the disease can be fatal.
Where can I get more information about the recent Department of Defense decision to require men and women in
the Armed Services to be vaccinated against anthrax?
The Department of Defense recommends that servicemen and women contact their chain of command on questions about the vaccine and its distribution. The anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program in the U.S. Army Surgeon General's Office can be reached at 1-877-GETVACC (1-877-438-8222)
For comprehensive CDC information about bioterrorism and related issues,
please visit one of the sites listed below: