After more than 70 countries infected from deadly COVID-19 Virus, fear and anxiety has gripped across the globe. According to a news story done by Gaurdian, Iran to mobilize 300,000 soldiers and volunteers as 23 MPs infected – as it happened. Australia’s share market has dropped 1.4% after the opening bell; reversing a rally on Tuesday that followed more than a week of losses.
The Italian government is about to release a series of recommendations to try to halt the corona virus outbreak like Social distancing, from crowded environments, avoiding kisses and hugs when greeting people and people older than 75 years with underlying health conditions are advised to remain at home and avoid social events. Cases of Corona virus are reported from Ireland, Chile, Algeria. Germany has reported increase in infections and has even cancelled events across Europe.
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Going by news reports doing rounds in major news organizations like Washington Times, NewYork Post, Wion, Asia times etc in their articles claimed that the virus’ outbreak could be linked to a military lab in Wuhan. The article suggests a government-run lab, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, could have been researching military applications for the corona virus and may have been the source of the outbreak. In fact, the suspicion grows even more strong that in China, there is only one Level 4 microbiology lab that is equipped to handle deadly corona viruses, called the National Bio-safety Laboratory, is part of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. And this lab is located in the Chinese city of Wuhan that just happens to be the epicenter of the epidemic.
Even the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology released a new directive titled: “Instructions on strengthening bio-security management in microbiology labs that handle advanced viruses like the novel coronavirus.
However there are plenty known and unknown viruses that have caused a situation of paranoia like HIV/AIDS, Flu Pandemic, Cholera Pandemic, Plague, Ebola, Zika Virus, Swine flue, and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) which researchers say it shares similarities to and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)—two infectious diseases that have emerged in recent decades but that have been managed. But the concerns about Coronavirus inside China are serious and travel restrictions have been imposed on much of the country, public health officials, especially in the West where the risk of transmission is not untouched now.
Does COVID-19 breakout pose the threat of biological warfare, as it has extensive media coverage and attention it has attracted? The situations is no doubt alarming with all manifestations of the outbreak of biological biological warfare.
But the question remains who is going to benefit from the outbreak, if it is manufactured in lab, a man made destruction tool by China, but at the same time the country is at present most affected in the world. Can one accuse America, who has long yearned to subordinate China and start warfare with Iran both worst affected countries? But even though with now 27 confirmed cases of COVID -19, in US, the hypothesis stands invalid.
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The premise that the present outbreak can be a possible Biological weapon cannot be ruled out. It has all the prerequisites like it is amicro-organismic in nature, has wreaked havoc, caused death of people in many countries, has arisen from a simple hoax to the actual damage it caused. The welfare of number of nations who have limited healthcare is at stake and can render them in a state of isolation as well as to cause them incapacitation or death to thousands of citizens.
The attempts to use biological warfare agents date back to antiquity, when Scythian archers infected their arrows by dipping them in decomposing bodies or in blood mixed with manure as far back as 400 BC. Persian, Greek, and Roman literature from 300 BC . Usage of dead animals to contaminate wells and other sources of water or firing of earthen vessels full of venomous snakes into the enemy ships has been used to win battles since ancient times.
In modern times biological warfare reached sophistication during World War I, the German Army developed anthrax, glanders, cholera, and a wheat fungus specifically for use as biological weapons. They allegedly spread plague in St. Petersburg, Russia, infected mules with glanders in Mesopotamia, and attempted to do the same with the horses of the French Cavalry.
Then during World War II, Japanese forces operated a secret biological warfare research facility on prisoners and exposed more than 3,000 victims to plague, anthrax, syphilis, and other agents in an attempt to develop and observe the disease. Even United States in 1942 formed the War Research Service to investigate Anthrax and botulinum toxin for the use as weapons. Sufficient quantities ofbotulinum toxin and anthrax were stockpiled by June 1944 to allow unlimited retaliation if the German forces first used biological agents. The British also tested anthrax bombs on Gruinard Island off the northwest coast of Scotland in 1942 and 1943 and then prepared and stockpiled anthrax-laced cattle cakes for the same reason.
Similarly in 1979, an accidental release of anthrax from a weapons facility in Sverdlovsk, USSR, killed at least 66 people.n 1985, Iraq disclosed that it had bombs, Scud missiles, 122-mm rockets, and artillery shells armed with botulinum toxin, anthrax, and aflatoxin. There are many more examples where biological weapons have been used to weaken the system intended for.
If the biological weapons or pathogens are released, the transmission is facilitated by a number of ways like through the air as airborne germs dispersed as fine particles; detonated as bombs, missiles as explosives; contamination through food or water; absorbed through or injected into the skin to cause assassination.
Early detection of a biological agent in the environment allows for early and specific treatment and time enough to treat others who were exposed with protective medications. Through advanced tests doctors are now able to identify early victims and recognize patterns of disease. e.g. the unusual symptoms, a large numbers of people with symptoms, dead animals, or other inconsistent medical findings are noted, to avoid any a biological warfare.
Protective measures can be taken against biological warfare agents or any epidemics which has gripped the area. These should be started early (if enough warning is received) but definitely once it is suspected with protective personal equipments like:
Masks: Currently, available masks such as the military gas mask or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter masks used fortuberculosis exposure filter out most biological warfare particles delivered through the air. However, the face seals on ill-fitting masks often leak. For a mask to fit properly, it must be fitted to a person’s face.
Clothing: Most biological agents in the air do not penetrate unbroken skin, and few organisms stick to skin or clothing. After an aerosol attack, the simple removal of clothing eliminates a great majority of surface contamination. Thorough showering with soap and water removes 99.99% of the few organisms that may be left on the victim’s skin.
Medical protection: Health care professionals treating victims of biological warfare may not need special suits but should use latex gloves and take other precautions such as wearing gowns and masks with protective eye shields. Victims would be isolated in private rooms while receiving treatment.
Antibiotics: Victims of biological warfare might be given antibiotics orally (pills) or through an IV, even before the specific agent is identified.
Vaccinations: Currently, protective vaccines (given as shots) are available for anthrax, Q fever, yellow fever, and smallpox. even flue but due the sudden outbreak of Coronavirus no such vaccine has been developed till now..