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Monday, March 27, 2023

Preparing for Biological Warfare

History repeats. Biological warfare has been used in the past; it will be used again. Bodies of plague victims were catapulted over the walls of besieged cities as late as the eighteenth century in Europe.

 Native Americans were killed with smallpox through gifts of infected blankets. Anthrax weapons were used in WWI. Some believe COVID-19 was engineered by the Chinese. While the casualty rate when factoring in all persons exposed and asymptomatic cases is perhaps a bit low as far as bioweapons go, the effect on the economy was huge.

The prudent recognize patterns of history and will prepare for such. (While most focus on the lethality of weapons to sicken and kill people, bioweapons can also be engineered to destroy crops and cause famine.)

An effective bioweapon possesses the following qualities:
It's very infectious. The debate rages between whether a short incubation period or a long one is better. A long incubation period during which people are contagious but asymptomatic, as seen with COVID-19, spreads the disease that much farther before people are even aware of the threat.
It causes high numbers of casualties, whether by death, long course of illness, or serious complications that drain resources like medical personnel and supplies.
It disperses well--it can easily be spread over a wide area.
Antidotes or treatments are expensive, rare, unavailable, or very time- and labor-intensive. Pharmaceuticals like hydroxychloroquine were very inexpensive and readily available until it was discovered that they could treat COVID-19, and then they became totally unavailable as people and governments stockpiled them.

The usual bioweapons, those most commonly researched in top-level facilities funded by world governments include the following:
ViralEncephalomyelitis (Eastern, Western, Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis)
Viral hemorrhagic fevers (Ebola, yellow fever)

Prevention of illnesses associated with bioweapons is the same as for any other disease--good hygiene and sanitation practices for everyone in the family all the time. Teach your children good hygiene habits now. Keep current on vaccines that are available. Some diseases are making a comeback due to falling vaccination rates and could become weaponized. Measles is among the most highly contagious diseases and is a good candidate for being used as a bioweapon. Additional measures to slow or prevent the spread of a bioweapon include social distancing, or better yet, totally avoiding going out in public, creating isolation rooms at home for those who are sick, and instituting quarantine quarters for those who have been exposed.

Standard treatment for almost all of the bacterial bioweapons (except botulism) is doxycycline, sometimes as a standalone, sometimes combined with other drugs. Conventional treatment for the viral diseases is supportive care. There are some herbs that have been used historically to treat these viral diseases. See links to those diseases to learn more about the herbs to treat them.

Links to related posts:
Yellow Fever
Isolation rooms
Quarantine rooms

"Bioterrorism Agents," Centers for Disease Control, (accessed 16 June 2020).
Joseph Alton, The Survival Medicine Handbook, 261-64.
"Diagnosis and Management of Foodborne Illnesses, A Primer for Physicians and Other Health Care Professionals," (accessed 16 June 2020).

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