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Tularemia is caused by the bacteria Francisella tularensis. Normally this disease is transmitted to humans by contact with animals, particularly game animals and by the bites of flies and ticks. Contaminated meat and water are also a source of infection. Francisella tularensis can enter the human body through the skin, mouth, eyes or nose. In biological warfare (BW), it is anticipated that the bacteria would be delivered as a cloud to the target population, making entry through the airways into the lungs the most common route, although ingestion and entry through skin wounds is
also possible. The disease may appear as ulcer or lesion at the place of entry and then progress to the lymph nodes and through the blood to other organs, including the lungs if the lungs are not already infected. The fatality rate is about 5-15% if untreated.
Tularemia in natural form is typically a rural disease carried by animals and insects. Hunters properly watch for diseased rabbits, which are sluggish or inactive. About 200 cases occur naturally in the U.S. each year. It is attractive for use as a germ warfare disease because small doses cause sickness. Only 5 to 10 bacteria are enough to cause infection through the skin, and between 10 and 50 bacteria are enough to cause infection when breathed in. Several countries, including the U.S. and Russia, have weaponized the bacterium. Weaponized tularemia can be spread either through an aerosolized form or as a fine powder, to be breathed in. After it is dispersed, tularemia can continue to cause infections for several weeks, longer than most other pathogens.
Germ warfare characteristics: it is estimated that if 50kg were dumped from an airplane onto a city of 5 million people there would be 250,000 people infected and 19,000 casualties. Because the initial symptoms produced from tularemia infection are difficult to distinguish from influenza and acute pneumonia, it will be difficult immediately to detect that a bioterrorist attack has occurred. The leading downside to using tularemia as biological weapon is that it cannot be spread from person to person. Therefore, in the event of an outbreak people need not fear infection from those who have already caught the disease.
Germ warfare development and use: the US and Russia developed weaponized tularemia in the 1950’s and 1960’s in an aerosolized form. Other countries are believed to have done so also. It has been reported that weaponized strains of tularemia are resistant to the vaccine and to antibiotic treatment. A likely user would be an organized group with access to airplanes and laboratories to grow and culture the bacterium as well as to prepare it in powdered form.
US Warns Doctors of Possible Biological War Agent
By Paul Simao
ATLANTA (Reuters) - Federal health officials urged doctors and other health providers on Thursday to be on the lookout for outbreaks of tularemia, a potentially fatal bacteria that could be used as a biological warfare agent.
Originally posted by magnito_student
Dept of Defense harassment as usual.
We gonna teach dim dar liberals to love the flag and US of A. Ungreatful protestors wouldnt be able to speak if it wusnt fer us military. damn Commie Liberals
Wow you're such a fascist redneck
Originally posted by Thomas Crowne
I see no reason for the alleged dispersers of the bio-hazard to announce that the agent was dispersed.
Where would their reasoning be found?