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Cities Might Not Be as Prepared as They Think for a Bioterrorism Attack

RDS

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Terrorists don't care two hoots about double-edged swords. They blow themselves up, so double-edged swords are no big deal.
Vespig­nani says there are two big things that people should take away from these findings. The first is that governments and international health organizations, whether it be WHO, the CDC or whoever, need to develop contingency plans for a pandemic that originates from afar. "They need to think about sharing resources," he says. The second is that wanna-be terrorists playing with pathogenic agents ought to consider that a biological attack is a double-edged sword. "They think they're going to affect only the area that they target. But quickly and easily, it will spread all over the world," perhaps even right back to their own motherland. "Using these kinds of weapons, there is no winner, for sure."
Cities Might Not Be as Prepared as They Think for a Bioterrorism Attack - John Metcalfe - The Atlantic Cities
 

Oozlefinch

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Terrorists don't care two hoots about double-edged swords. They blow themselves up, so double-edged swords are no big deal. Cities Might Not Be as Prepared as They Think for a Bioterrorism Attack - John Metcalfe - The Atlantic Cities

We have not been prepared for bioterrorism for decades.

Heck, even an attack with something as simple as measles would have a large impact, with the fewer number of people inoculated today then 30 years ago. And with all the people that would run screaming to court if a quarantine was even suggested makes things even worse.

Short of mandatory inoculations and a strict quarantine policy ready to slam down there really is not much you can do against this.
 

Goshin

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Gonna file that comment under "Obvious as Hell".
 

RDS

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We have not been prepared for bioterrorism for decades.

Heck, even an attack with something as simple as measles would have a large impact, with the fewer number of people inoculated today then 30 years ago. And with all the people that would run screaming to court if a quarantine was even suggested makes things even worse.

Short of mandatory inoculations and a strict quarantine policy ready to slam down there really is not much you can do against this.

Bioterrorism also encompasses food and water supply. There is some level of preparedness when congress passed the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002.
 

Oozlefinch

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Bioterrorism also encompasses food and water supply. There is some level of preparedness when congress passed the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002.

That is why I got out of security.

When I got out of the Marines in 1993, the first thing I did was security.

I quit within 3 months. I was guarding the main water facility for the city of Los Angeles, and it was an absolute joke. One guard for a large facility, access control procedures that were not followed (I was threatened with being fired if I tried to follow them), and placing guards in locations alone for 8 hours with no communications with the outside world. I quit because the last thing I wanted was to be held responsible for something happening because they would not allow me to do the right thing.

It is sad that it took until 2001 for security in this sector to wake up. And I doubt it is anywhere where it needs to be.
 

Chatter

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There are departments in the UK who constantly plan for and research such attacks. The NHS a body than is far more nationally coordinated than some health services also has plans in place including a small pox plan, although like most heath services it would be difficult to deal with a vast outbreak. The NHS and Ambulance Services in the UK, also have a programme called which deals with CBRN attacks, whilst the police also have CBRN Trained officers and CBRN Centre along with the military who have their own CBRN Centre and the fire services who have upgraded their CBRN response through the New Dimensions Programme. It's also worth noting that Small Pox was actually cured by a British Doctor named Edward Jenner back in 1811.

HPA - PHE Porton

NARU | Preparing for the future, protecting lives today

NHS England » Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response (EPRR)

It should also be noted that key workers such as those in the Emergency, Health or Military Services are already given the small pox vaccine in the UK, whilst there are stores of the vaccine held centrally and by NHS Authorities.

HPA - Smallpox Vaccination

Here's the Dumfries and Galloway NHS Small Pox Plan as an example - it involves mass vaccination of the regional population within 5 working days.

http://www.nhsdg.scot.nhs.uk/Depart.../1-05_Mass_Smallpox_Vaccination_Plan_2012.pdf
 

Oozlefinch

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There are departments in the UK who constantly plan for and research such attacks. The NHS a body than is far more nationally coordinated than some health services also has plans in place including a small pox plan, although like most heath services it would be difficult to deal with a vast outbreak.

We have the same problem in the US. We have organizations like USAMRIID and CDCP who plan for things like this all the time, but we also recognize the human element will mess things up every single time. An attempt to contain it through vaccination and/or quarantine would be a nightmare, with thousands screaming conspiracy and government plot and violation of Constitutional rights. So many people are so sure the government is out to get them that they would resist any attempts at containing the outbreak.

Tom Clancy wrote about such an instance in his novel "Executive Order", and I am sure that such an outbreak in reality would be very similar.
 

Chatter

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We have the same problem in the US. We have organizations like USAMRIID and CDCP who plan for things like this all the time, but we also recognize the human element will mess things up every single time. An attempt to contain it through vaccination and/or quarantine would be a nightmare, with thousands screaming conspiracy and government plot and violation of Constitutional rights. So many people are so sure the government is out to get them that they would resist any attempts at containing the outbreak.

Tom Clancy wrote about such an instance in his novel "Executive Order", and I am sure that such an outbreak in reality would be very similar.

It would be difficult to vaccinate everybody within a short period, however entire populations would eventually be vaccinated, whilst those who had the disease would have to be quarantined. However there are sadly far more dangerous pathogens than small pox out there, which is why CBRN planning is increasingly relevant and important, as is security planning in relation to lessons learnt from recent terrorist attacks ranging from 9/11, to Madrid, 7/7, Mumbai and more recently Boston and Kenya.

CPNI Website

http://www.london.gov.uk/sites/defa...-Human-Infectious-Diseases-Plan-version-1.pdf
 
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