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fybog fybog at NOSPAMhotmail.com
Sun Nov 1 15:24:14 EST 1998

On 29 Oct 1998 04:35:16 GMT, "John Smith" <send no email at futurex.com>

>fybog <fybog at NOSPAMhotmail.com> wrote...
>> [..] I very much doubt that a group of terrorists are
>> going to go out tomorrow and release anthrax spores in the middle of
>> LA. They cannot be sure of their target, including the possiblity of
>> killing themselves. 
>The terrorists can protect themselves with either
>easily obtainable cattle vaccine for anthrax, or
>by simply taking some antibiotics.
>Anthrax is easily obtained from soil or 
>from cattle that have been killed by it
>(a common disease of cattle in the US).
>Any microbiologist can isolate and grow
>large amounts of spores without any
>special equipment- you could get
>everything you need from K-Mart.
>The spores can be 
>spread in many different ways. Dust, dirt,
>feathers, sawdust- all have been used
>by the British and US for their anthrax bombs
>since the 1940s. Dispersal can be as
>simple tossing a handful of the spore carrier
>into the air in a crowd of people or into a building's air
>return duct.
>To combat this threat we should recognize that
>it is real, very likely, develop emergency plans,
>conduct training, and establish stockpiles of the
>appropriate antibiotics and vaccines. If antibiotics
>are quickly made available to people exposed to anthrax
>they can be protected quite well.
>Of course, a good microbiologist would select for
>an antibiotic resistant strain after isolating the
>organism and prior to mass culture- also easy to do.
>Passing the organism a couple of times through the
>target host would allow selection for a "hot" strain.
>All of this information has been broadcast to millions
>of people in recent TV programs on biowarfare on
>PBS and ABC or I would not be posting this message.
>Regardless, every microbiologist knows how to
>do these things. It is just too easy. We should all be 
>more concerned and start advocating for the
>appropriate preventative measures
>to be taken without further delay, in my opinion.
>-John Smith

I know it is easy to grow the organisms, I have said that myself, but
there is not enough control over it to make it viable yet. I am not
saying we shouldn't prepare ourselves, but we shouldn't worry
ourselves too much either (as members of the public).

Also, if the terrorists really want their strain to be effective they
have to make it very dangerous for them to handle too. It will either
have no vaccine or no treatment, or to be really effective, both.

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