Anthrax – A New Weaponry.

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 Anthrax is a lethal disease caused by bacteria named Bacillus Anthracis. It affects humans and other animals, causing physical disorders and fatigue. It can survive upto many decades or even centuries, by forming themselves as dormant endospores. These endospores become active only when they find a suitable host for its livelihood. Humans get infiltrated by these germs through inoculation of infected blood or skin or by consuming flesh of infected animals. Most domestic animals get these pathogens by grazing. This bacteria spreads through contacts of infected regions of flesh or other organic materials like paper, cloth, etc.

A few years backs, world witnessed anthrax bacteria as an ingredient of more deadly biological weapons. The first country to be attacked with biological weapons made of this bacterium is US. Shortly, after the September 11 attacks, letters containing anthrax spores were mailed to different destinations in the country. This attack was named Amerithrax by the Federation Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and it attack came in two phases. In the first phase, letters with fine powder consisting about 1 gram of pure anthrax bacteria, were mailed to offices of ABC news, NBC news, New York Post and CBS news. And in the next phase, similar letters were sent to offices of the senators Tom Dasche (South Dakota) and Patrick Leahy (Vermont). As many as, 5 got killed in this attack and more than 20 got infected. The infectious powder was thought to be weaponized with silica. But biological weaponry experts found there was no weaponization and the powder was pure with endospores. The letters were been found to be mailed from the town of Princeton. And eventually, searches were done in and around Princeton and anthrax spores were found in mailboxes near the Princeton University campus. The return address contained in the letter was just a fake one.

 Even after many years of the attack, people suffered from lingering health problems, memory loss, fatigue and shortness of breath. Many cases went tricky, as all the symptoms showed a possible infection from the anthrax bacteria but no pathogens were detected in the blood tests.

Shortly after Amerithrax, Chile had a similar attack where posts from US having swiss postmarks transferred by the company DHL created complications. Till now, only vaccines are been the only advancement against anthrax. Almost all countries have proper vaccination mechanisms because of the helping hand rendered by WHO. Still, anthrax spores when spread are difficult to control and it takes more time to nullify the effects of the spread. Researches on biological and biochemical armaments are committed to find proper solutions against the life-threatening weaponries…


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