Recent Advances in the Prevention of Bioterrorism Attacks
University of Florida, College of Pharmacy, USA
- *Corresponding Author:
- Oliver Grundmann
University of Florida
College of Pharmacy, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: January 28, 2011; Accepted Date: January 30, 2011; Published Date: January 31, 2011
Citation: Grundmann O (2011) Recent Advances in the Prevention of Bioterrorism Attacks. J Bioterr Biodef 2:103. doi:10.4172/2157-2526.1000103
Copyright: © 2011 Grundmann O. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Since the September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and other locations in the United States, a primary concern for the global community has been to heighten homeland security and thereby prevent terrorist attacks. Additional attacks following the tragedy in 2001 across the world included mailed envelopes containing viable Bacillus anthracis or Anthrax spores that caused 5 deaths in the US. As a countermeasure to bioterrorism attacks, the US implemented the â€œPublic Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Actâ€? in 2002. This was recently strengthened by the passing of the â€œFood Safety Modernization Actâ€? of 2010. Both laws are intended to provide resources to oversight agencies for tighter regulation and control of food entering and being distributed in the US. It raises the question to what degree a nation can prepare for a potential bioterrorism attack on the food supply. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have identified several biotoxins that could be used for dispersion. Many of these agents are listed in categories A (including anthrax, botulism, smallpox, and the plague) and B (including strains of Salmonella and Escherichia, Cholera, and Ricin) of the CDC list of potential bioterrorism agents that can be dispersed with relative ease and result in high morbidity and mortality rates. A major concern is the preparedness of public health authorities and the timeliness of the response and recognition of an actual incident. A recent risk analysis of the response to a bioterrorism incident involving Salmonella or Escherichia bacteria concluded that it would take between 3-5 days and at least 2 confirmed cases to detect and contain the source.