In December , a Soviet military tribunal in Khabarovsk tried 12 Japanese prisoners of war for preparing and using biological weapons Major General Kawashima, former head of Unit 's First, Third, and Fourth Sections, testified in this trial that no fewer than prisoners were killed yearly at Unit The Japanese government, in turn, accused the Soviet Union of experimentation with biological weapons, referring to examples of B. Although German medical researchers infected prisoners with disease-producing organisms such as Rickettsia prowazekii , hepatitis A virus, and malaria, no charges were pressed against Germany regarding experimentation with agents of biological warfare 1 , 7.
Allegedly Hitler issued orders prohibiting the development of biological weapons, referring to his own devastating experience with the effects of chemical agents used during World War I. However, with the support of other high-ranking Nazi officials, German scientists began biological weapons research Despite these efforts, which clearly lagged behind those of other countries, a German offensive biological weapons program never materialized.
On the other hand, German officials accused the Allies of using biological weapons: Joseph Goebbels accused the British of attempting to introduce yellow fever into India by importing infected mosquitoes from West Africa 1. This was in fact believable by many, because the British were actually experimenting with at least one organism of biological warfare: B. Bomb experiments of weaponized spores of B. These experiments lead to heavy contamination of the island with persistence of viable spores.
In , the island was finally decontaminated by using formaldehyde and seawater. In the USA, an offensive biological warfare program was begun in under the direction of a civilian agency, the War Reserve Service 1.
Initially, organisms of interest were B. Although about bombs filled with B. During the years immediately after World War II, newspapers were filled with articles about disease outbreaks caused by foreign agents armed with biological weapons 2 , In later years the USA admitted that it had the capability of producing such weapons, although it denied having used them.
However, the credibility of the USA was undermined by its failure to ratify the Geneva Protocol of , by public acknowledgment of its own offensive biological warfare program, and by suspicions of collaboration with former Unit scientists 1 , In fact, the US program expanded during the Korean War — with the establishment of a new production facility in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
In addition, a defensive program was launched in with the objective of developing countermeasures, including vaccines, antisera, and therapeutic agents, to protect troops from possible biological attacks. By the late s, the US military had developed a biological arsenal that included numerous biological pathogens, toxins, and fungal plant pathogens that could be directed against crops to induce crop failure and famine 1.
Volunteers inside this chamber were exposed to Francisella tularensis and Coxiella burnetii. The studies were conducted to determine the vulnerability of humans to certain aerosolized pathogens. Further testing was done to evaluate the efficacy of vaccines, prophylaxis, and therapy. This rate of infection was well within the contemporary standards of the National Safety Council and below the rate reported from other laboratories.
Three fatalities due to acquired infections were reported from Fort Detrick during this period: 2 cases of anthrax occurred in and , and 1 case of viral encephalitis was reported in In addition, 48 occupational infections were reported from the other testing and production sites, but no other fatalities occurred. Between and , several studies were conducted to demonstrate the vulnerability of US cities Cities on both coasts were surreptitiously used as laboratories to test aerosolization and dispersal methods when simulants were released during covert experiments in New York City, San Francisco, and other sites.
Aspergillus fumigatus, Bacillus subtilis var globigii , and Serratia marcescens were selected for these experiments 7 , Organisms were released over large geographic areas to study the effects of solar irradiation and climatic conditions on the viability of organisms.
Concerns regarding potential public health hazards were raised after outbreaks of urinary tract infections caused by nosocomial S. The outbreak followed covert experiments using S. In addition to these efforts in the USA, many other countries continued their biological weapons research, including Canada, Britain, France, and the Soviet Union.
In the United Kingdom, the Microbiological Research Department was established in and expanded in 2 , Plans for pilot biological warfare were made, and research continued on the development of new biological agents and weapons design. Britain conducted several trials with biological warfare agents in the Bahamas, in the Isles of Lewis, and in Scottish waters to refine these weapons. However, in , the British government decided to abandon the offensive biological warfare research and to destroy stockpiles.
At that time, a new emphasis was put on further development of biological defensive research At the same time, the Soviet Union increased its efforts in both offensive and defensive biological warfare research and development 1.
Reports regarding offensive research repeatedly occurred in the s and s, although officially the Soviet Union claimed not to possess any biological or chemical weapons. Other allegations occurred during the post—World War II period 11 :.
During the late s, public and expert concerns were raised internationally regarding the indiscriminate nature of, unpredictability of, epidemiologic risks of, and lack of epidemiologic control measures for biological weapons 11 , In addition, more information on various nationsbiological weapons programs became evident, and it was obvious that the Geneva Protocol was ineffective in controlling the proliferation of biological weapons.
In July , Great Britain submitted a proposal to the UN Committee on Disarmament outlining the need to prohibit the development, production, and stockpiling of biological weapons Furthermore, the proposal provided for measures for control and inspections, as well as procedures to be followed in case of violation. Shortly after submission of the British proposal, in September , the Warsaw Pact nations under the lead of the Soviet Union submitted a similar proposal to the UN.
However, this proposal lacked provisions for inspections. Under the BWC, the development of delivery systems and the transfer of biological warfare technology or expertise to other countries are also prohibited. It further required the parties to the BWC to destroy stockpiles, delivery systems, and production equipment within 9 months of ratifying the treaty.
This agreement was reached among cosigning nations, and the treaty was ratified in April The BWC went into effect in March 1. Signatories that have not yet ratified the BWC are obliged to refrain from activities that would defeat the purpose of the treaty until they specifically communicate to the UN their intention not to ratify the treaty. Review conferences to the BWC were held in , , , and Signatories to the BWC are required to submit the following information to the UN on an annual basis: facilities where biological defense research is being conducted, scientific conferences that are held at specified facilities, exchange of scientists or information, and disease outbreaks 1 , However, like the Geneva Protocol, the BWC does not provide firm guidelines for inspections and control of disarmament and adherence to the protocol.
In addition, there are no guidelines on enforcement and how to deal with violations. Alleged violations of the BWC were to be reported to the UN Security Council, which may in turn initiate inspections of accused parties, as well as modalities of correction.
The right of permanent members of the Security Council to veto proposed inspections, however, undermines this provision. More recent events in and again illustrated the complexity and the enormous difficulties the UN faces in enforcing the statutes of the BWC. In the USA, the offensive biological weapons program was terminated by President Nixon by executive orders in and 7. The USA adopted a policy to never use biological weapons, including toxins, under any circumstances.
National Security Decisions 35 and 44, issued in November microorganisms and February toxins , mandated the cessation of offensive biological weapons research and production and the destruction of the biological weapons arsenal. However, research efforts continued to be allowed for the purpose of developing countermeasures, including vaccines and antisera. After the termination of the offensive program, USAMRIID was established to continue research for development of medical defense for the US military against a potential attack with biological weapons.
Despite the agreement reached in , several of the signatory nations of the BWC participated in activities outlawed by the convention 1. These events clearly demonstrate the ineffectiveness of the convention as the exclusive approach for eradicating biological weapons and preventing further proliferation. The number and identity of countries that have engaged in offensive biological weapons research is largely still classified information.
However, it can be accurately stated that the number of state sponsored programs of this type has increased significantly during the past 30 years. In addition, several assassination attempts and attacks, as well as non—state-sponsored terrorist attacks, have been documented.
During the s, biological weapons were used for covert assassinations. This weapon discharged a tiny pellet into the subcutaneous tissue of Markov's leg while he was waiting at a bus stop in London. The following day, he became severely ill, and he died only 3 days after the attack.
On autopsy, the pellet, cross-drilled as if it was designed to contain another material, was retrieved. As it was revealed in later years, this assassination was carried out by the communist Bulgarian secret service, and the technology to commit the crime was supplied to the Bulgarians by the Soviet Union 1 , Only 10 days before the assassination of Markov, an attempt to kill another Bulgarian exile, Vladimir Kostov, had occurred in Paris, France.
Kostov said that one day when he was leaving a metro stop in Paris, he had felt a sharp pain in his back. When he turned around, he saw a man with an umbrella running away. Two weeks later, after he had learned of Markov's death, Kostov was examined by French doctors. They removed a similar pellet, which was made from an exotic alloy of iridium and platinum and contained the toxin ricin.
In the late s, allegations were made that planes and helicopters delivering aerosols of different colors may have attacked the inhabitants of Laos and Kampuchea 1 , 7. People who were exposed became disoriented and ill. Some of these clouds were believed to comprise trichothecene toxins e.
During April , an epidemic of anthrax occurred among the citizens of Sverdlovsk now Ekaterinburg , Russia. The epidemic occurred among people who lived and worked near a Soviet military microbiology facility Compound 19 in Sverdlovsk. In addition, many livestock died of anthrax in the same area, out to a distance of 50 km European and US intelligence suspected that this facility conducted biological warfare research and attributed the epidemic to an accidental release of anthrax spores.
Early in February , the widely distributed German newspaper Bild Zeitung carried a story about an accident in a Soviet military settlement in Sverdlovsk in which an anthrax cloud had resulted When this story was published, other major Western newspapers and magazines began to take an interest in the anthrax outbreak in Sverdlovsk, a city of 1. Later that year several articles occurred in Soviet medical, veterinary, and legal journals reporting an anthrax outbreak among livestock.
Human cases of anthrax were attributed to the ingestion of contaminated meat. In , Matthew Meselson Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts renewed previously unsuccessful requests to Soviet officials to bring independent scientists to Sverdlovsk to investigate the incident 1 , This request finally resulted in the invitation to come to Moscow to discuss the incident with 4 Soviet physicians who had gone to Sverdlovsk to deal with the outbreak.
The impression after these meetings was that a plausible case had been made, and further investigation of the epidemiologic and pathoanatomical data was needed. The Soviet Union maintained that the anthrax outbreak was caused by consumption of contaminated meat that was purchased on the black market However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Boris Yeltsin, then the president of Russia, directed his counselor for ecology and health to determine the origin of the epidemic in Sverdlovsk.
In May , Yeltsin admitted that the facility had been part of an offensive biological weapons program and that the epidemic was caused by an accidental release of anthrax spores. Among the evidence reviewed were a private pathologist's notes from 42 autopsies that resulted in the diagnosis of anthrax Demographic, ecologic, and atmospheric data were also reviewed.
The conclusion was that the pattern of these 42 cases of fatal anthrax bacteremia and toxemia were typical of inhalational anthrax as seen in experimentally infected nonhuman primates. In summary, the narrow zone of human and animal anthrax cases extending downwind from Compound 19 indicated that the outbreak resulted from an aerosol that originated there 27 , A report stated that the Russian program continued to exist after the incident and had temporarily increased during the s.
In , the program was still in existence and employed 25, to 30, people 1. At the same time, several high-ranking officials in the former Soviet military and Biopreparat had defected to Western countries.
The information provided by these former employees gave further insight into the biological weapons program of the former Soviet Union. After the anthrax incident in Sverdlovsk, the research was continued at a remote military facility in the isolated city of Stepnogorsk in Kazakhstan, producing an even more virulent strain of anthrax 1 , In , the former Soviet Union expanded its bioweapons research program and was eventually able to weaponize smallpox. This research was conducted at remote facilities in Siberia, and very little information is available about the extent and outcome of this research and where it was conducted 1.
During Operation Desert Shield, the build-up phase of the Persian Gulf War Operation Desert Storm after Iraq had invaded and occupied Kuwait in the fall and winter of , the USA and the coalition of allied countries faced the threat of biological and chemical warfare 2 , The experience gained from observations during the first Persian Gulf War in the late s supported the information on biological and chemical weapons available to the Western intelligence community.
In fact, Iraq had used chemical warfare against its own people on many occasions in the s 1. Intelligence reports from that time suggested that the Iraqi regime had sponsored a very ambitious biological and chemical warfare program. Coalition forces prepared in — for potential biological and chemical warfare by training in protective masks and equipment, exercising decontamination procedures, receiving extensive education on possible detection procedures, and immunizing troops against potential biological warfare threats.
Approximately , US troops received a Food and Drug Administration—licensed toxoid vaccine against anthrax, and received a new botulinum toxoid vaccine 7. For further protection against anthrax spores, 30 million mg oral doses of ciprofloxacin were stockpiled to provide a 1-month course of chemoprophylaxis for the , US troops that were involved in the operation.
Representatives of the Iraqi government announced to representatives from the UN Special Commissions Team 7 that Iraq had conducted research into the offensive use of B. Iraq had extensive and redundant research facilities at Salman Pak, Al Hakam, and other sites, only some of which were destroyed during the war 1 , Despite these elaborate efforts by the UN, the struggle with enforcement of the BWC continued throughout the late s and into the 21st century.
As the recent developments in Iraq have shown, development of biological and chemical weapons is a real threat, and efforts to control its proliferation are limited by logistical and political problems. As long as there are no concrete provisions for enforcement, the BWC will remain a toothless instrument in the hands of the UN Security Council.
In addition to these state-sponsored and military-related biowarfare programs, private and civilian groups have attempted to develop, distribute, and use biological and chemical weapons. One incident was the intentional contamination of salad bars in restaurants in Oregon by the Rajneeshee cult during late September 7 , A total of cases of severe enteritis were reported, and Salmonella typhimurium was identified as the causative organism.
Forty-five victims were hospitalized during this outbreak. Although the Rajneeshees were suspected, the extensive research and investigation conducted by the Oregon Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control could not conclusively identify the origin of the epidemic. However, in , a member of the cult confirmed the attack and identified the epidemic as a deliberate biological attack Unfortunately, recent examples of the intentional use of biological weapons are not difficult to find.
In the mid s, large amounts of botulinum toxin were found in a laboratory in a safe house of the Red Army Faction in Paris, France. Apparently, the toxin was never used The bioterrorism threat resurfaced then on March 18, , after the Aum Shinrikyo attacked the Tokyo subway system with sarin gas. The investigations after this incident disclosed evidence of a rudimentary biological weapons program.
Allegedly before March , the cult had attempted 3 unsuccessful biological attacks in Japan using anthrax and botulinum toxin. In addition, cult members had attempted to acquire Ebola virus in Zaire during 7 , However, only a small portion of the entire program was discovered by Japanese police and intelligence, and only fragments of evidence have been made available to the public. Until the present time, the full extent of the biological weapons program by the Aum Shinrikyo, as well as its present condition, remains unknown.
Biological weapons are unique in their invisibility and their delayed effects. These factors allow those who use them to inculcate fear and cause confusion among their victims and to escape undetected. A biowarfare attack would not only cause sickness and death in a large number of victims but would also aim to create fear, panic, and paralyzing uncertainty.
Its goal is disruption of social and economic activity, the breakdown of government authority, and the impairment of military responses. The choice of the biowarfare agent depends on the economic, technical, and financial capabilities of the state or organization. Smallpox, Ebola, and Marburg virus might be chosen because they have a reputation for causing a more horrifying illness.
Images on the nightly news of doctors, nurses, and law enforcement personnel in full protective gear could cause widespread public distraction and anxiety. Biowarfare attacks are now a possibility. The medical community as well as the public should become familiar with epidemiology and control measures to increase the likelihood of a calm and reasoned response if an outbreak should occur. In fact, the principles that help clinicians develop strategies against diseases are relevant as the medical community considers the problem of biological weapons proliferation.
For the medical community, further education focusing on recognition of this threat is both timely and necessary. Primary prevention rests on creating a strong global norm that rejects development of such weapons. Secondary prevention implies early detection and prompt treatment of disease. The medical community plays an important role in secondary prevention by participating in disease surveillance and reporting and thus providing the first indication of biological weapons use.
In addition, continued research to improve surveillance and the search for improved diagnostic capabilities, therapeutic agents, and effective response plans will further strengthen secondary prevention measures. Finally, the role of tertiary prevention, which limits the disability from disease, shall not be forgotten.
Experience in managing laboratory exposures to potential agents of bioterrorism is limited. The United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases reviewed laboratory exposures involving these agents to to assess the effectiveness of medical management. A multifaceted policy of personal protective measures, vaccination, early assessment, and postexposure antibiotic prophylaxis was effective in minimizing morbidity and mortality in at-risk laboratory workers.
Over the past several years, funding for biodefense research has increased dramatically, leading to the possibility of increased laboratory-acquired infections with potential bioterrorism agents. The Special Immunizations Program at The Special Immunizations Program at United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases reviewed its policy and management of potential occupational exposures to assess guidelines for determining the risk of exposure and disease and to determine criteria for initiating postexposure prophylaxis PEP.
Initiating antibiotic PEP was based primarily on exposure risk but was also influenced by vaccination status and agent virulence. PEP was given to nearly all moderate- and high-risk bacterial exposures, regardless of vaccination status, to most unvaccinated and subsets of vaccinated minimal-risk exposures, but generally not to negligible-risk exposures.
Algorithms for evaluating and managing potential exposures are presented to provide guidance to other agencies as they begin to work with these agents. Ullrich Mies, Willkommen in der Neuen Weltordnung. Die Transformation der Welt in eine Dystopie hat sich schon lange am Horizont abgezeichnet -nun ist dieser Wandel im vollen Gange. Publiziert in: Rubikon, Was damals noch etwas abstrakt schien, nimmt nun The Illogic of the Biological Weapons Taboo.
Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources gathering and maintaining the data needed and reviewing Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources gathering and maintaining the data needed and reviewing the collection of information.
Toxins, chemical substances produced by practically all forms of life, represent a chemically broad group of compounds. Many of them are very toxic for human and represent a serious jeopardy because they may be misused through chemical Many of them are very toxic for human and represent a serious jeopardy because they may be misused through chemical warfare or terrorist attacks.
This danger has been increasing recently because toxins are more and more available due to modern synthetic methods and application of genetic engineering. Therefore the international community adopted multilateral conventions and control regimes, which regulate handling with toxins.
These fundamentals are implemented into the Czech system of law too. The Academy of Medical Sciences, the Medical Research Council, the Royal Society and the Wellcome Trust are undertaking a study into the use of non-human primates in biological and medical research. An independent working group of An independent working group of scientific experts, led by Sir David Weatherall, aims to produce a report summarising the findings of this study, early in The trends in primate research, and the nature and effects of recent and proposed changes in the global use of non-human primates in research, will be investigated.
The associated ethical, welfare and regulatory issues, and the role and impact of the Three Rs principles of refinement, reduction and replacement will also be reviewed. As part of this study, a call for evidence was made. The evidence submitted by FRAME emphasised that the use of non-human primates for fundamental research or for regulatory testing still fails to take into account the fact that, although non-human primates are anatomically and physiologically similar Israel under threat of biological warfare--the reactions of our patients during the Persian Gulf crisis.
During February , there was heightened tension in the Persian Gulf area. This study observed the use of health care services by patients This study observed the use of health care services by patients visiting our clinics during this period. The participating clinics were situated in A high-risk and B low-risk areas, according to their location as related to missile hits during the Gulf War. A total of 1, visits were recorded during the crisis period February There were visits in Area A and in Area B.
Overall, visits related to the crisis were recorded, of which were in Area A.
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