A Pandemic, How will we stop it?

Recently in the past two years we have seen many biological pandemic possibilities, like the H1N1 strain that hit the world or the more common name flu virus that struck through many lives. We also had the Ebola strain coming from across the world reaching us but that isn’t all. See the thing is a pandemic could happen through biological warfare, many people will wonder what that means throughout the world but biological warfare is a possibility. In 2013 a woman by the name of Rebecca Keller wrote an article call Bioterrorism and the Pandemic Potential. Her article touched on the H5N1 virus breakouts and how we prevented a catastrophic event that could have struck the world as a pandemic. (Keller 03/07/13) “Periodic media reports of bird flu, a new SARS-like virus and a case of drug-resistant tuberculosis have kept the world informed, but they have also contributed to a distorted perception of the true threat such contagions pose. Perhaps the greatest value of the media coverage is the opportunity it provides to discuss the uncertainties and the best ways to prepare for biological threats, both natural and man-made. It is important to remember that the risk of biological attack is very low and that, partly because viruses can mutate easily, the potential for natural outbreaks is unpredictable. The key is having the right tools in case of an outbreak, epidemic or pandemic, and these include a plan for containment, open channels of communication, scientific research and knowledge sharing. In most cases involving a potential pathogen, the news can appear far worse than the actual threat.” As proven here as Keller has stated that there are biological threats to be available to the mass population of the world. We have to be careful if not we could have a large scale pandemic on our hands.  (Keller 03/07/13) “Given that the laboratory version of H5N1 — or any influenza virus, for that matter — is a contagious pathogen, there would be two possible modes that a non-state actor would have to instigate an attack. The virus could be refined and then aerosolized and released into a populated area, or an individual could be infected with the virus and sent to freely circulate within a population. The use of the pathogen as a biological weapon requires an assessment of whether a non-state actor would have the capabilities to isolate the virulent strain, then weaponized and distribute it. Stratfor has long held the position that while terrorist organizations may have rudimentary capabilities regarding biological weapons, the likelihood of a successful attack is very low.”

With this information it’s like the chances of terrorists could make a biological weapon. Now that was predicted in 2013, it’s now 2016 and as of very recently an article came out talking about a new chemical weapon. They also state what we are currently doing to prevent this weapon, that has already been used before, but now can be mass produced. What is the world coming too using biological weaponry to cause damage for a war? (Press Release, 09/29/16) “The first potential antidote to treat the life-threatening effects of chlorine inhalation, a potential terrorism threat, will advance in development under a contract between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and Radikal Therapeutics, Inc. of Beverly, Massachusetts.” As read there we have figured out an antidote to a life-threatening bio-terrorism weapon, that might not seem like a big weapon but don’t underestimate its power. (Press Release, 09/29/16) “Chlorine gas is a widely available industrial chemical with catastrophic consequences in industrial accidents. Derailment of a train carrying chlorine in Graniteville, South Carolina, in 2005 led to nine deaths and hundreds of injuries. In addition, chlorine gas has been used as a weapon, for the first time in World War I and repeatedly in the recent Syrian civil war. Today’s two-year $15.9 million contract is part of efforts by ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to develop medical products and procedures to protect health and save lives in a terrorist attack, including those using toxic industrial chemicals like chlorine. The contract could be extended up to a total of $84.9 million over seven years.” With these various reason has stated that a biological pandemic could happen from our already know diseases and biological warfare tactics to win wars.  We already have WHO and the BARDA coming up with ways to prevent these pandemics from happening. But will we be able to save ourselves from the clever tricks of terrorists that are coming up with these biological weapons, is there a chance we will face a biological pandemic soon, who knows?

Citations:

Keller, A. (03/07/13) Bioterrorism and the Pandemic Potential. Stratfor.  Retrieved from https://www.stratfor.com/weekly/bioterrorism-and-pandemic-potential

Original media made by Jennifer Huegel, audio help by Ben Audebert

Press Release. (09/29/16) Chemical Weapons: Chlorine gas antidote to advance in development. Outbreak News Today. Retrieved from http://outbreaknewstoday.com/chemical-weapons-chlorine-gas-antidote-to-advance-in-development-74313/

 

we asked a few students what they would do is a medical pandemic and this was their response.

 

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