chapter  4
26 Pages

Introduction to Biological Agents and Toxins

Introduction to Biological Agents and Toxins Th e Chairman of the National Intelligence Council released a report in Washington, D.C., entitled, “Th e Global Infectious Disease Th reat and Its Implications for the United States.” Th is report deals with warnings of growing possibilities for American citizens to come down with infections that run rampant is other parts of the world, since the United States is a sizable hub for world travelers, immigration, and commerce. Also, we have a high percentage of American military service personnel serving in all sections of the world. Th e Asian continent has seen steady increases in infectious diseases such as the spread of HIV (human immunodefi ciency virus) and AIDS. In addition, an estimated thirty diseases, unknown in the past, have appeared globally since the early 1970s. Th ese diseases include Hepatitis C, Nipah virus that is encephalitis-related, and Ebola hemorrhagic fever, and other diseases that so far remain incurable. In like manner, infectious diseases such as malaria, cholera and tuberculosis have rejoined our nation since the 1970s (also, terrorist use of biological agents has increased with the 140 anthrax hoaxes perpetrated in the United States in the late 1990s, and the actual anthrax attacks the country seemed to be so unprepared for in late 2001. Th e report also gives a warning that most infectious diseases originate in other countries but are brought into the United States by travelers, immigrants, imported animal and foodstuff s, and military troops who have served in far corners of the earth.