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Volume 32, Issue 3

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Monday, 03 March 2014 19:31

Bioterrorism: What is it? What Can Be Done to Prepare?

Written by  James Hammill

What is Bioterrorism?Bioterrorism is the intentional use of harmful biological agents tocause widespread illness, fear, panic, or death. The agents of mostconcern are anthrax, plague, smallpox, tularemia, ebola, and botulism– all hard to detect and potentially life-threatening.BackgroundAlthough weapons of mass destruction and bioterrorism were presentedat conferences and talked about in the hallways prior to the anthraxevents of 2001, business continuity planners rarely included them inthe planning process. It was hard enough to maintain funding levelsto protect the company’s business practices and information. Andas we saw in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, local, state,and federal government agencies suffered from that same lack of funding.The Issue Is RealA bioterrorism attack on the United States will require a means of dispersal– air, food, water, or some other medium – causing injuryor death through inhalation, ingestion, or bodily contact.