Tox and his team race to find a cure for a deadly, centuries-old disease that has been released. As a nurse, I couldn't resist focusing my feature on the subject of bioterrorism. According to the National Institute of Health, a bioterrorism attack is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs to cause illness or death. These are generally spread through the air, by contamination of water or food, by animals, or by person-to-person contact.
U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) has an extensive website that provides research, education, scientific publications, and resources regarding biological warfare. I was fascinated by the brief history, which dates as far back as the sixth century BC, when water sources were poisoned with rye ergot by the Assyrians and with the herb hellibore by the Greek general Solon. ("History of Biological Warfare and the Current Threat," USAMRIID's Medical Management of Biological Casualties Handbook--8th Edition, September 2014, p. 3)
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is another resource. A list of specific Bioterrorism Agents/Diseases is available, as well as General Fact Sheets on Specific Agents:
- Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers
The CDC's Bioterrorism Readiness Plan: A Template for Healthcare Facilities details steps to be taken in the event of a a suspected bioterrorism event. While many of their guidelines are general and apply to any situation, they also delineate Agent-Specific Recommendations for the following:
Biological warfare is a serious subject and one that arises often in the news in today's war-torn world. However, those who place their trust in God and his sovereignty need not fear what man can do on earth.
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