An examination of biological warfare

Infectious Agents as Tools of Mass Casualties Historically, outbreaks wars of microbial species against the human species have killed far more people than war itself.

An examination of biological warfare

Was Sydney's smallpox outbreak of an act of biological warfare against Aboriginal tribes? Thursday 17 April Sydney Cove' Algernon Tamage An outbreak of smallpox in Sydney in killed thousands of Aborigines and weakened resistance to white settlement.

In Aprila sudden, unusual, epidemic of smallpox was reported amongst the Port Jackson Aboriginal tribes who were actively resisting settlers from the First Fleet.

This outbreak may have killed over 90 per cent of nearby native families and maybe three quarters or half of those between the Hawkesbury River and Port Hacking. It also killed an unknown number at Jervis Bay and west of the Blue Mountains Yet the journal of marine captain Watkin Tench indicates that the First Fleet carried bottles of smallpox.

Chris Warren, researcher Some authors have argued that the First Fleet had no involvement whatsoever in the outbreak, while others argue that if the Fleet was involved, then it must have been some other disease such as chickenpox. Yet the journal of marine captain Watkin Tench indicates that the First Fleet carried bottles of smallpox.

We know that smallpox materials retain the virus for a number of years when exposed to room temperatures. Knowing the temperatures on the First Fleet, it is clear that the virus would have weakened to around half-strength and could easily have caused the epidemic if spread amongst local tribes.

The possibility of chicken-pox has been presented by Dr John Carmody and, hypothetically, a First Fleeter with shingles could have infected Aborigines with this virus, which then manifested as a virulent form of chickenpox.

The chickenpox theory was first floated by Richard Hingston in and was immediately rebutted by a leading virologist, Professor Frank Fenner. Professor Fenner specialised in smallpox and noted that if chickenpox was present, it would have been seen amongst First Fleet children. Fenner also raised another problem.

Aroundsmallpox erupted in central New South Wales. A military surgeon, John Mair, investigating the epidemic reported that, those natives with marks from previous smallpox, were now immune from catching the disease.

No other disease but smallpox could have arrived with the First Fleet to generate this immunity. It is now not reasonable to reintroduce chickenpox theory today - without addressing the issues raised by Fenner nearly 30 years ago. Now there is another argument suggesting that the First Fleet was not responsible for spreading smallpox.

Some authors have argued that the Sydney outbreak was caused by smallpox from the district of Macassar in the Celebe islands, 3, miles away, which just happened to coincide with European settlement.

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If these Asian visitors carried active smallpox, then it is possible that they infected local communities. However there was no smallpox at Macassar around the time of the First Fleet.

This is clear from the medical history of the Celebes or Sulawesi as it is now known. The Dutch maintained medical services around Macassar for most of the 18th century and the first report of smallpox only occurred there infar too late for it to have caused the First Fleet epidemic thousands of miles away near Sydney Cove.

Furthermore, if smallpox entered northern Australia and spread across the continent, it would have left telltale evidence in the form of pock marks along native trade routes.

Children along these routes who suffered smallpox in the s would have been in their 40s when Europeans started spreading from Sydney Cove, but there are no reports from early explorers of smallpox scars in inland Australia.A History of Chemical and Biological Weapons [Edward M.

Spiers] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Following the 9/11 attacks and the anthrax letters that appeared in their wake, the threat posed by the widespread accessibility of chemical and biological weapons has continually been used to stir public fear and opinion by politicians and the media regardbouddhiste.coms: 1.

Biological warfare (also called germ or bacteriological war- fare) is the use of living disease-causing agents such as viruses, germs, or fungi—or toxins derived from them—as a.

An examination of biological warfare

A project funded by a research agency of the US Department of Defense is now giving rise to concerns about being possibly misused for the purpose of biological warfare.

The value of biological warfare will be a debatable question until it has been clearly proven or disproven by experience. The wide assumption is that any method which appears to offer advantages to a nation at war will be vigorously employed by that nation.

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Biological Warfare Maritime terrorism is the premeditated wilful destruction of ships, cargo and port facilities, injury or death to crew and passengers, or the disruption of port operations in order to spread fear and mayhem.

Since there have been , terrorist events 54 of which only were maritime based, with well-known examples including, MV Limburg Yemen in , and M. Many diseases caused by weaponized biological agents present with nonspecific clinical features that could be difficult to diagnose and recognize as a biological attack.

The disease pattern that develops is an important factor in differentiating between a natural and a terrorist or warfare attack.

SPR System for On-Site Detection of Biological Warfare