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Biological weapons and bioterrorism preparedness: importance of public-health awareness and international cooperation
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Virology.
2002 (English)In: Clinical Microbiology and Infection, ISSN 1198-743X, E-ISSN 1469-0691, Vol. 8, no 8, 522-528 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Biological weapons and biological terrorism have recently come into focus due to the deliberate release of Bacillus anthracis via mail delivered in the USA. Since the 1930s, biological weapons have been developed in a number of countries. In 1975, the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention entered into force; this prohibits the use of these weapons and has been signed by a large majority of countries (144). Unfortunately, several countries failed to respect this treaty. The Soviet Union continued and expanded its biological weapons program, and after the Gulf War it was revealed that Iraq also had an extensive biological weapons program. Large-scale deliberate release of, Bacillus anthracis, for example, or an epidemic following a release of smallpox virus, would have a devastating effect. This has motivated the world community to strengthen the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention with a control mechanism which has, as yet, not been successful. Sweden, like other countries, is enhancing its preparedness with regard to stocks of antibiotics and vaccines, related to these improving the diagnostics these and similar agents, and is setting up an epidemiologic task force that can be used in infectious disease emergencies such as the deliberate release of biological warfare agents. International cooperation in this area has to be enhanced, not least in the European Union.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 8, no 8, 522-528 p.
Keyword [en]
Bioterrorism; biological weapons; preparedness
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-42052DOI: 10.1046/j.1469-0691.2002.00497.xPubMedID: 12197874OAI: diva2:408459
Available from: 2011-04-05 Created: 2011-04-05 Last updated: 2011-04-05Bibliographically approved

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