55 Biological Warfare Facts: Know All About Biological Weapons | Kidadl


55 Biological Warfare Facts: Know All About Biological Weapons

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Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Biological warfare is also deemed germ warfare.

When viruses are used as a weapon, it is referred to as biological warfare. A biological weapon is a term for the use of pathogens as weapons.

Biological warfare is sometimes referred to as the 'poor man's nuclear weapon'. It is comparatively cheap and can have a disastrous impact, as the name implies. Bioweapon pathogens have the potential to be more efficient than regular chemical weapons. Biochemistry and science advancements over the last century have simplified the development of such weapons. Therefore, genetic modification has the potential to be the most hazardous. The simplicity of producing biological weapons, as well as the accessibility of biological agents, has resulted in a greater distribution of biological weapons and a greater demand for them in developing countries.

Have you learnt some biological warfare facts? If so, then read on to find out more, as well as its potential effects.

What is biological warfare?

The purpose of bioterrorism is to induce fear in governments and citizens in order to achieve political, social, or religious objectives. Biological terrorism could have a greater impact on society than conventional weapons, like nuclear weapons. Discover more about biological warfare by reading these facts:

  • In 1347, one of the first reported cases of biological warfare took place. Mongol soldiers are said to have thrown bubonic plague-infested corpses into the Black Sea port of Caffa.
  • In the early '20s, France began a biological weapons project. Auguste Trillat, a brilliant French scientist who anticipated and tested the long-term severity of airborne viruses, was in charge.
  • Biological agents are appealing to terrorists because they are easy and affordable to develop.
  • Viruses spread easily, and can induce widespread terror and panic.
  • The risk of mass destruction is far too high. They could be used in minute amounts, but the consequences are life-threatening.
  • A rapid growth in the number of individuals suffering from clinical symptoms suggestive of a widespread contagious disease would be the first sign of a biological warfare attack.
  • Their existence cannot be identified immediately since they take time to develop, and spread widely and disastrously, and can be mistaken for existing viruses. They are an invisible weapon.
  • For respiratory protection, there are respirator systems, and PPE (personal protective equipment) such as biohazard suits, face masks, and gloves.
  • When the agent hasn't been detected, full protection is needed, such as a biohazard suit.
  • When the biological agent has been identified, preventive measures should be based on its properties.
  • After a biological attack, decontaminants can remove biological agents from affected locations.
  • Following the First World War, the global community banned the use of biological attacks and chemical weapons and, in 1972 and 1993, the ban was reinforced by forbidding their research, storage, and export.
  • The most suitable way to combat biological warfare and terrorism is to be ready to react to a biological weapons attack

What are biological weapons?

A biological weapon is a device that delivers infections with the purpose of sickening or causing death. Bio-weapons are another term for biological weapons. Biological warfare is the term for their use during the war. Read on to find out more:

  • A biological agent alone is insufficient to create a biological weapon.
  • A biological weapon must include both a bio-agent designed to make humans sick and a delivery system for that disease agent.
  • Biological weapons are part of a larger category of weapons known as weapons of mass destruction.
  • Biological weapon-delivery devices come in a range of shapes and sizes.
  • To deploy biological weapons, previous teams built rockets, explosives, hand grenades, and missiles.
  • Due to the ability and amount of harm caused, three categories of agents can be used.
  • Two examples of infectious agents with a high priority are anthrax and the Ebola virus.
  • Infectious agents with a moderate priority include Brucellosis and Q fever.
  • Low-priority agent examples are Hantavirus, and a virus that causes yellow fever.
  • Bacillus anthracis is the organism that causes anthrax.
  • Food, drinks, powders, and spray have all been mixed with it, and it's one of the deadliest biological weapons as it doesn't have any flavor or odor.
  • Botulinum toxin is produced by clostridium botulinum, a naturally present bacteria.
  • During Japan's conquest of Manchuria, it was believed that it was used on prisoners of war (POWs).
  • During the Second World War, Francisella tularensis was deployed as a biological weapon against Nazis.
  • Biological weapons were created in large quantities by the Soviet Union, the United States, and its allied forces during the Cold War.
  • Biological weapons were deployed against China by the Japanese army in the Second Sino-Japanese War.
  • They infamously used fleas infected with the plague and flies coated with cholera to contaminate Chinese villages and cities.
  • Iraq has developed and used a variety of aflatoxin weapons. After the Gulf War, the nation gave up its biological weapons.
  • Most biological agents, such as pneumonic plague and smallpox virus, can be transmitted from person to person.
Biological warfare poses a threat to combat as well as in everyday life.

Biological Warfare History

Biological warfare disease agents have been used in warfare throughout history. As early as 400 BCE, Scythian archers poisoned arrows by soaking them in decaying corpses. Here are some facts on the history of biological warfare:

  • Romans were among the first to use biological weapons, fouling the enemy's water system with dead animals.
  • Hannibal defeated King Eumenes II of Pergamon in 190 BCE by shooting mud vessels filled with poisonous snakes onto warships.
  • Barbarossa poisoned wells with the corpses of warriors at the war of Tortona in the 12th century.
  • In an attempt to spread smallpox, British forces led by Sir Jeffrey Amherst distributed blankets used by smallpox patients to Native Americans during the Indian Wars.
  • Biological weapons such as anthrax, cholera, and glanders were created by the German Army during the First World War.
  • The Geneva Protocol, signed in 1925, was approved by 108 countries. This was the first global treaty to include biological agents in the chemical agent ban.
  • Italians used poison gas against Libyans as early as January 1928, deploying mustard gas from the air during the African campaign.
  • The United States established the War Research Service in 1942. The use of anthrax and botulinum toxin as weapons was examined.
  • Sverdlovsk, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, experienced an exceptional anthrax spores pandemic in 1979.
  • Iraq began developing botulinum toxin, anthrax, and aflatoxin as military biological weapons in 1985.
  • In 1984, 751 humans were sick with salmonella, a food-poisoning agent, due to the intentional contamination of salad bars.
  • In 1994, a Japanese branch of the Aum Shinrikyo group tried to spray anthrax from the roofs of Tokyo buildings.
  • Members of a Minnesota militant organization were found guilty of carrying ricin in 1995.
  • Anthrax was mailed to government and media organizations in the United States in 2001. As a result, five people died.
  • Three United States senate buildings were closed on February 3, 2004, after the poison ricin was discovered in a mailroom of Senate Bill Frist's desk.
  • The last known record of using plague corpses for biological warfare occurred in the year 1710.

Potential Effects Of Biological Warfare

Bioweapons and rising epidemics may cause a significant loss of genetic diversity in domesticated and wild living organisms, resulting in the extinction of wildlife. Read on below to find out more facts about the effects:

  • The latest technologies, when used for good, can perform miracles. However, like with any technology, there will always be the risk of misuse.
  • The knowledge of biological and toxic substances that attack the nervous system is important for neurologists and other medical experts.
  • The majority of diseases produced by biological-warfare agents are not classified as neurological conditions.
  • Nonetheless, several of these chemicals can cause headaches, migraine, or changes in mental state.
  • CRISPR, a gene-editing device, has raised concerns in the defense field.
  • Researchers may use the tool to edit genes, making it simple to change DNA and change gene activity.
  • This technology has the ability to fix genetic flaws and treat infectious diseases in the proper hands. However, if misused, it has the ability to cause harm.
  • There would be no potential end to the agony that may be produced with coming generations of CRISPR-like tools and improved genetic knowledge.
Written By
Gincy Alphonse

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Application from New Horizon College, and PG Diploma in Graphic Design from Arena Animation, Gincy fancies herself a visual storyteller. And she’s not wrong. With a skillset like branding design, digital imaging, layout design, and print and digital content writing, Gincy dons many hats and she wears them well. She believes that creating content and clear communication is an art form, and she continually strives to perfect her craft. At Kidadl, she’s engaged in producing well-researched, factually-correct, and error-free copy that employs SEO-best practices to ensure organic reach.

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