Definitions - Biological Weapons

Biological Weapons disseminate pathogenic microorganisms or biologically produced toxins to incapacitate via illness or kill humans, animals, and or plant populations.

As previously discussed historical references cite the use of biological organisms to poison wells by the Assyrians in ancient times to defeat the enemy, as well as the deliberate use of plague infected corpses and variola contaminated clothing and blankets to vulnerable population and citizens to debilitate and conquer opposing forces.

The national response to the mailing of anthrax spores to members of the media and government in October 2001 illustrated the potential impact on communities of a biological weapons attack on emergency medical services, hospitals public health departments and public safety services. The increased surge of emergency requests and responses to the multiple suspicious powder and package related 911 calls placed a strain on the human and financial resources of the emergency responder community and revealed the effects of the intimidation and fear which occurred after this multi-state event.

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