Thursday, July 25, 2013

the "WAGD" story of the day

From the UKMail:
A bioterrorism attack could spread to several continents before it is even detected, according to a startling new scientific study. 
The study found that if a small group of terrorists infected themselves with a disease such as smallpox and walked around London, then the pathogens could spread to up to four nations before doctors managed to diagnose it. 
'A deliberate smallpox release is likely to assume an international dimension even before the epidemic is identified,' the researchers wrote in the  study, which was published in this month's Scientific Reports, a trade publication. 

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Reality check: you wouldn't need terrorists to spread it in London.

The "Dark winter" scenerio was smallpox released at a truck stop in Oklahoma city.
A Tom Clancy novel had it released at the Olympics.

But the reality is blowback: the country that sponsored the bioterror attack would itself end up with a lot more casualties than the US or advanced countries in Europe or Asia.

That would defer most countries, except maybe the eco terror types who were behind the attack in the Clancy novel. Indeed, I loved how he "punished" them: He dropped them in the middle of the Amazon jungle sans supplies, so they could enjoy a nice green lifestyle.

When 911 happened, we actually were given instructions on what to do if smallpox was released. You isolate/encircle the outbreaks and vaccinate everyone (hoping that the vaccine would induce immunity before the virus worked). It told you how to set up a clinic in the local schools, and all the little details on how to get everyone vaccinated.

If you remember, the scare back then was anthrax: ordinary anthrax, not the resistant kind, but it had been treated not to clump, so it could stayed small enough to enter the lungs easily and kill. Why anthrax? Well, no blowback: it will kill or infect those breathing the treated spores, but will not spread from one person to another.

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