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Infectious Defense: How to Prepare for Biological Warfare

An old victim of terrorism, India is also catching up with the reality only to find how badly it is equipped to fight it. At a recent workshop organised by the Delhi-based National Institute of Communicable Diseases nicd on bio-terrorism, experts agreed that the threat of biological weapon attacks by terrorists in India is real and strongly suggested an effective surveillance mechanism.

Biological weapons include the use bacteria, viruses, fungi or their toxins to cause large-scale death or disease in humans, animals or plants. As these weapons are easy to produce and are cost-effective, experts say that terrorist groups can acquire them easily.

Some of the countries that have active biological weapons programmes include usa , Russia, Iraq, Libya and Syria.

Conference Description

The workshop was held a week after the attacks on usa. Given the secrecy that the government maintains in dealing with such a strategic issue, the workshop was rather unusual and dwelled extensively on India's preparedness to face any biological weapon attacks.

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The participants were from defense research organisations, medical officials from border states, defense analysts and biologists. The objective was to develop a surveillance mechanism for pathogens with biological warfare potential. Datta mentioned a mysterious fever outbreak in Siliguri, West Bengal, which killed than 20 people, a few months back.

  • War Research Service.
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  • Biological Terrorism.
  • Foundations of illocutionary logic;
  • According to A Nagendra of the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, the cost effectiveness and easy access increases the risk of terrorists using biological weapons. That the threat is for real can be gauged from the fact that the government has finally decided to devise a strategy to deal with this problem through this workshop. What will make detection of biological weapon attacks difficult is that India doesn't even have the basic infrastructure for surveillance due to which, even the most common of the epidemics go unreported and undiagnosed and just called 'mysterious'.

    Realising the seriousness of the threat, the government has recently decided for a surveillance of border states for possible bio-terrorism attacks. Says Datta, "We want to extend this surveillance all over the country.

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