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Richard W Gilpin PhD Blog

An Overview of Bioterrorism

Bioterrorism is the act of releasing biological toxins or biological agents to harm people. In our biohazard training courses, we’ll provide information needed to handle biohazards after a bioterrorism attack. Biological agents such as viruses and bacteria are typically found in nature, but they can be altered for malicious intent against a country or group. These agents are separated into three categories, A, B, and C based on how easily they can be spread and the severity of diseases they cause.

The most recent bioterrorism attack on the United States occurred shortly after 9/11 by a series of letters containing anthrax spores. These letters arrived in two waves. The first were sent from Trenton, New Jersey to newspapers and media in New York and Boca Raton on September 18, 2001. Only two of these letters were found, but the outbreak of anthrax disease led to the conclusion that there had been others. Two more letters were sent on October 9, again from Trenton, addressed to two Democratic senators at the Capitol in Washington DC. The anthrax spores in these two letters were more pure than the spores in the first set of letters and approximately one gram of single anthrax spores.

Through our biosafety training courses, we educate individuals on how to prepare for handling materials from bioterrorist attacks and prevent laboratory acquired infections.

RICHARD W GILPIN PHD