Bioterrorism and Infectious Agents: A New Dilemma for the 21st Century / Edition 1

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Overview

Since the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001 and subsequent cases of anthrax in Florida and New York City, attention has been focused on the threat of b- logical warfare and bioterrorism. Biological warfare agents are defined as "living org- isms, whatever their nature, or infected material derived from them, which are used for h- tile purposes and intended to cause disease or death in man, animals and plants, and depend for their efforts on the ability to multiply in person, animal or plant attacked." Biological warfare agents may be well suited for bioterrorism to create havoc and terror in a civilian population, because they are cheap and easy to obtain and dispense. Infectious or contagious diseases have played a major part in the history of warfare - deliberately or inadvertently - in restricting or assisting invading armies over the centuries. In 1346, the Tartars catapulted plaque-infected bodies into Kaffa in the Crimea to end a 3-year siege. Blankets contaminated with smallpox to infect North American Indians were used by British forces in the 18th century. More recently, the Japanese released fleas infected with plaque in Chinese cities in the 1930s and 1940s. Biological research programs for both offensive and defensive strategies have been developed by the United States, Britain, the former Soviet Union, and Canada; several other nations are thought to have such programs.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Peter Katona, MD (UCLA School of Medicine)
Description: The book describes the important biothreat agents in detail chapter by chapter and includes a chapter on the handling of organisms in general by healthcare workers and a chapter on the economics of bioterrorism.
Purpose: The purpose is to give the reader accurate and up-to-date information about the handling of biothreat agents, important and worthy objectives that the book meets.
Audience: The audience is essentially anyone with an interest in the field, but specifically could include healthcare workers and policy makers. The authors are very credible.
Features: The book covers the most discussed biothreat agents and provides a general approach to an unknown agent as well as the economics of terrorism. The agents are thoroughly discussed and the practical approach to an unknown agent is excellent. The last chapter, however, did not seem to fit in well with the overall scope of the book and was difficult to make sense of in any practical way.
Assessment: Except for the last chapter on economics, I liked this book and thought it had relevance to the biothreat field. It did not offer any new insights but its thoroughness will be useful to healthcare workers.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Anthrax: A Disease and a Weapon.- Plague as a Biological Weapon.- Tularemia and Bioterrorism.- Melioidosis and Glanders as Possible Biological Weapons.- Smallpox as a Weapon for Bioterrorism.- Hemorrhagic Fever Viruses as Biological Weapons.- Botulism as a Potential Agent of Bioterrorism.- Ricin: A Possible, Noninfectious Biological Weapon.- Bioterrorism Alert for Health Care Workers.- The Economics of Planning and Preparing for Bioterrorism.
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    Posted April 11, 2011

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