HOW CAN BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS BE DEFENDED AGAINST?
BY MANUEL CEREIJO
Biological defense may be divided into the following categories: prevention, protection, detection, treatment, and decontamination.
· Prevention. Prevention may take several forms. In the case of biological warfare, international disarmament and inspection regimes may deter production and dissemination of biological agents. Cuba must be inspected. Intelligence assets may indicate potential threats and allow for preventative action to be undertaken. The CIGB and other Centers in Cuba should be destroyed if inspection on site is not allowed. Vaccination programs may provide substantial protection against naturally-occurring agents, but very limited or no protection against genetically-engineered variants designed to defeat such vaccines. Neither for combinations of agents into one bioweapon.
· Protection. Forms of protection against biological warfare agents are limited in capacity. Protective suits, clothing and filters, may provide limited protection for short periods of time. However, the persistence of biological agents, such as anthrax, makes such protections mainly useful for military personnel and first responders. Besides, delivery methods, in the case we are confronting now, will not be by using missiles, but in a surprising delivery and undetectable form.
· Detection. There are several detection systems that could be implemented and used. We have:
SMART (SENSITIVE MEMBRANE ANTIGEN RAPID TEST)
JBPDS ( JOINT BIOLOGICAL POINT DETECTION SYSTEM)
BIDS ( BIOLOGICAL INTEGRATED DETECTION SYSTEM)
IBAD ( INTERIM BIOLOGICAL AGENT DETECTOR)
· Treatment. Treatment options after infection depend on whether or not the infectious agent is identified. If not identified, massive doses of antibiotics may be given in hopes that something may work. If the agent is anthrax, treatment may be penicillin, two million units every two hours administered intervenously. However, if symptoms are already present, death from anthrax will occur in nearly 90% of cases regardless of treatment.
Additional training and resources are needed to enhance diagnostic capabilities. Early detection capability is an essential tool in cases of suspected uses of biological weapons. It has been recommended that the Federal government distribute appropriate detection equipment to state and local governments.
Este y otros excelentes artículos del mismo autor MANUEL CEREIJO aparecen en la REVISTA GUARACABUYA con dirección electrónica de: http://www.amigospais-guaracabuya.org