Biological Weapons

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1. INTRODUCTION

Disasters are sudden, unpredictable, calamitous event, bringing great damage and devastation to life and property. Disasters can be natural like earthquake, landslide, tsunami, cyclones, flood or drought and major accidents. It can also be man-made like war and terrorism. Both in war and terrorism chemical, biological or radiological agent can be used. In any of these situations, significant social, environmental and economical impact would occur. Casualties following disasters and major accidents could escalate very rapidly if necessary preventive methods are not followed. Infectious disease disasters consist of biological attack, emerging infectious disease outbreaks, and pandemics. There are a broad range of potential
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Earlier, biological warfare was prevalent in three forms: (1) deliberate poisoning of food and water with infectious material, (2) use of microorganisms or toxins in some form of weapon system and (3) use of biologically inoculated fabrics. The Scythian archers infected the head of the arrows by dipping them in decomposing bodies or in blood mixed with manure (Barras, 2014). Usage of animal cadavers in order to contaminate wells and various other water resources were done by Persian, Greek and Romans during 300BC. In the 14th century AD, during the siege of Kaffa, the attacking sharper force dumped the cadavers of those who died of plague into the city to attempt to inflict a plague epidemic upon the enemy. In Europe, more than 25 million people died due to bubonic plague in 14th century (Barras, 2014). During the American Revolutionary War, British soldiers infected with small pox were used to spread the disease. Attempts to spread small pox by contaminated clothing was documented during the American Civil War. In another well-documented incident at Fort Pitt, Ohio River Valley, the British troops deliberately spread smallpox by presenting blankets and linens used by small pox victims to native Indian population. (Daniel, 2005) The accidental release of anthrax from a military testing facility in the former Soviet Union in 1979 and…show more content…
In order to counter biological warfare, chemical warfare or an unexpected natural disaster, Indian government has designed a program called National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP). One of the major contributions to this program is to provide broad spectrum antibiotics, chemical antidotes, antitoxins, life-support medications, intravenous (IV) administration devices, airway maintenance supplies, and medical and surgical supplies. The country has highly qualified scientists with expertise in working against infectious diseases. Some of India 's facilities have a dedicated research and development wing for biological weapons (BW) which are purely for defense purposes. India has officially signed the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning the development, production and stockpiling of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction during the year 1973 – 1974 and has pledged to abide by its obligations.(Danskin,
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