Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Post-Apocalyptic A to Z: Biological Warfare

For me, there's nothing quite as scary as biohazard suits. In this Defense Imagery photograph by      Pfc. Crystal Madriz, we see U.S. soldiers dressed in protective gear, dragging a simulated casualty from a rubble pile during a joint training exercise by the Air Force and Army involving biological and chemical warfare response, casualty rescue, and decontamination at Fort Pickett, Va., in 2008.

Numerous countries around the world keep stockpiles of biological weapons and creating bioterrorism weapons is relatively easy. Fortunately there have been only two successful bioterror attacks, with others thwarted in the planning stages. The United States suffered both attacks--the mysterious anthrax letters in 2001 and the attack by followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, who in 1984 tried to rig elections in The Dalles, Oregon, by putting salmonella in the salad bars of ten local restaurants. The letters killed five people but the Rajneesh attack luckily resulted in no fatalities.

Despite the rarity of bioterror attacks, they remain a real threat and national governments spend a large amount of money preparing for them. If there's ever another global war, that training will probably come in handy. In any post-apocalyptic scenario, the survivors will have dealt with such plagues and would either been immune or have developed immunity. There are always mutated strains, however. . .

10 comments:

D.G. Hudson said...

That's where the mutants get their cue. If the destruction doesn't kill everyone, the mutation may introduce changes to the human DNA. (from your last line)

Biological warfare is scary. Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake id one illustration of what could happen, Radio Hope is another.

Rita A. said...

Interesting and Scary. I read this morning the search at the Washington mudslide is being held up because of chemicals. Anybody who trains to work in this is amazing.

eclecticoddsnsods.com said...

who in 1984 tried to rig elections in The Dalles, Oregon, by putting salmonella in the salad bars of ten local restaurants. - I never knew this, pretty darn scary and yes that threat always remains there in the back of ones head which one tries not to think about, it's rather overwhelming and cause for nightmares. PS Hello from another A-Z fellow blogger :)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Biological Terrorism is the thing that scares me in the dark of the night. Brrr.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Both attacks were small. What happens when someone does it on a grand scale?

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

It is scary. Humans are too smart for their own good.

Vicki Paulus said...

I hadn't heard about The Dalles incident in Oregon before. Very interesting and certainly thought provoking.

Herding Cats - Burning Soup said...

I'm going to have to join you in that. Very scary and makes ya nervous. Didn't know about the Oregon attacks way back. I was two at the time. It's just amazing the lengths people will go. smh.

Happy A to Z-ing!
~Anna
My A to Z:Body Beauty.

Nya Rawlyns said...

What's terrifying is that we are so helpless against this kind of threat.

J E Oneil said...

A post-apocalyptic A-to-Z is right up my alley. It should definitely give me some inspiration. Um, for writing I mean.

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

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