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Bioterrorism - Essay Example

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Terrorism: Case Study on Bioterrorism 1. Create a scenario of a hypothetical bioterrorist attack involving botulism or plague. Your scenario should include characteristics that are more indicative of an intentional outbreak, rather than a natural outbreak…
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Download file to see previous pages Not only were soda bottle with fruit juices, carbonated drinks or colas attacked, but also bottled mineral water, beer bottles and even cans. The terrorist had a few units where the botulism toxin was manufactured on a large scale and just a few milliliters of the toxin had to be introduced into each bottle of soda. Even milk was supposed to be attacked and milk bottles were found to be infected (Wein 2005). People across the US feel sick on consuming the contaminated food product. Some of the common symptoms that were noted included double vision, slurring of the speech, drooping of the eyelids, difficulty in swallowing, muscle weakness, berating difficulties, dry mouth, general body weakness, etc (CDC 2012). Young children and adolescents who especially consume high amounts of these drinks were the targets and required immediate hospitalization. Many of the patients with serious respiratory problems need admission to the ICU and ventilator support. The mortality rates were also high. In total, there were about 3200 cases of botulism reported throughout the US within the first 5 days, about 2300 people required admission to the hospital, 450 were critically ill and required ventilator support and 400 had mortalities. ...
It may strongly be suspected that the people involved in these attacks may have introduced certain toxic substances into dairy animals across the US in order to demonstrate that the contamination of food and other products were linked to the animal deaths due to infections. However, the biggest evidence to demonstrate that the outbreak of botulism was a suspected terrorist attacks was the contamination of soda drinks and sodas. The water being used for manufacture and drinking water was also suspected. However, a majority of the US cities and soft drink manufacturers used chlorinated water and there are no chances that botulism contaminates naturally. 2. Describe how the outbreak characteristics would have been different in the above scenario, if the outbreak had been natural, rather than intentional. A natural outbreak of botulism already has mechanisms by which ultimately the people who consume the products are not infected. For example, water that may be contaminated would be treated with chlorine. Soft drinks are prepared using chlorinated water and milk is pasteurized before being packaged. Even some of the foods are disinfected before reaching the ultimate consumer (Medinet 2012). The second most startling fact that the outbreak was intentional was that it occurred through various cities in the US simultaneously. More than 10 major cities in the US were attacked and most of these cities were high consumers of soft drinks and dairy products. The last fact that suggested that this was an intentional outbreak was through various molecular laboratory tests conducted on the contaminated food product, the microorganism isolated was one particular strain, and this strain was one of the most virulent strains that produced large quantities of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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