"Anthrax has long been considered a likely biological weapon. B. anthracis may have been responsible for two of the plagues that affected Egypt in 1491 BC .In 1877; Koch grew the anthrax bacillus in vitro and induced the disease in healthy animals by inoculating them with pure cultures of the bacillus. John Bell recognized the link between handling infected wool and inhalational anthrax amongst textile workers. The British conducted experiments by releasing spores of anthrax on Gruinard Island near Scotland in the 1940s. Viable anthrax spores persisted until the island was decontaminated with formaldehyde and seawater in 1986. The United States experimented with biological weapons including anthrax spores in the 1950's and 1960's until President Nixon's order to terminate the program was implemented in 1970 .In the anthrax attacks of 2001, subsequently referred to as Amerithrax, B. anthracis spores sent through the US postal system resulted in 22 cases of anthrax .These Amerithrax were the first known instance of delivery of anthrax spores through the postal system; a method of delivery less sophisticated than many of the scenarios tested by governments.
(Anthrax Bioterrorism: Prevention, Diagnosis and Management Strategies: Fowler RA, et al)
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Last date updated on June, 2014