“Lions and tigers and bears…. Oh, my!” (The Wizard of Oz)
Hello out there, friends, Americans, countrymen…and Ready Nutrition Readers! We come to bury this topic of Biological Warfare, today, not to praise it! Read part 1 and part 2 here. We’re going to do just that: by outlining all of the diseases that unfriendly governments foreign and domestic may use against one another in war that may affect you. We citizens are referred to as “collateral damage” when that occurs. We will examine each of the main bio-warfare pathogens utilized and explain how such illnesses (if contracted) are fought from a medical and (if applicable) a naturopathic capacity. Let’s do it!
Mankind’s Deadliest and How To Protect Against Weaponized Diseases
As explained in Part 2, there are a number of different illnesses that (because of their virility and lethality) make excellent biological weapons. There are 3 categories of biological warfare pathogens employed that are classified by risk-matrix (higher to lower): Categories A, B, and C. The Category A-pathogens are the ones with the highest probability of being used as biological warfare agents. We will list the main ones employed here along with their causative organisms. They are as follows:
- Smallpox 1. Variola major
- Anthrax 2. Bacillus anthracis
- Plague (Bubonic) 3. Yersinia pestis
- Hemorrhagic Fever 4. Filoviruses/Arenaviruses
These illnesses are the worst of all those that plague man and are perfectly geared for use in bio-warfare for a number of reasons besides virility and lethality. Other reasons are economy (relative cost-effectiveness for both production and delivery, meaning delivery to the target, not in a “gift” box), and ease of production. When people are infected with these diseases, the illness can run through them and into the larger population akin to a torch in a dry field of wheat. Let’s break them down and examine each of them individually, now.
- Smallpox – The absolute worst of all and greatly feared. The work “The Demon in the Freezer” by Richard Preston (mentioned as a reference in Part 2) shows the epic battle to remove Smallpox from the global population, while still storing it for use as a weapon. Smallpox presents as a fever with a long period of incubation (12 days). Remember, an incubation period is a time between when the patient is first exposed to the disease to the time the first symptoms manifest themselves. What makes this long incubation period so bad is that the patient can pass the disease on to others even before he or others is aware he has it.
Signs and symptoms are fever, generally poor feeling, and headache. The patient displays a rash on the face and inside of the mouth and larynx, and this spreads to the limbs and trunk. At first, the rashes can be confused with chickenpox; yes, it is difficult to tell the rashes apart. Then pocks begin to form that are beanlike blisters filled with pus, and the patient is in severe agony at this time, feeling as if his skin is burning. For a week the patient is still infectious and the body emits the virus every second, and anyone who comes near will catch it. The disease kills 1/3 of those who catch it, and there is no cure for it. In the 20th century, half a billion people died from it, and all of the nations listed in Part 2 of this series have it, along with the U.S.
There is a vaccine for Smallpox made from Cowpox, and it is taken from scrapings and pus samples from cattle infected with the latter; however, it is not mass-produced for safety reasons. A Washington Post article of 3/28/2002 entitled “Smallpox Vaccine Turns Up” chronicled the “finding” of 70 – 90 million forgotten doses of Smallpox vaccine in the freezers of Aventis Pasteur Co., of Lyon, France, in its U.S. operation in Swiftwater, PA. The article mentioned also:
“Sources said the company is negotiating with the Department of Health and Human Services with the goal of giving the U.S. government access to the supply. Among the issues to be worked out are how much money, if any, would change hands in the transaction, and the extent to which the company may be relieved of liability should problems with the vaccine arise.”
RN readers, isn’t that heartwarming? Almost 90 million doses; however, the U.S. has a population of approx. 315 million people. Safe to say every politician: local, state, and federal, and his or her families and business associates will be sure to have a dose. I will have to do a research follow-up on the disposition of the vaccine, as I originally found the article on 6/14/2013; I promise to either do an update article or post the information as to its whereabouts and/or existence.
So what do the “normal” citizens have as recourse? Actually, more than you think. Dr. Leonard G. Horowitz came out with an article entitled “Smallpox Vaccination Risks Versus Natural Healing of Smallpox,” in which he states that proper hygiene and not vaccinations are the key; allow the pustules to drain and not fester and keep them clean without picking the scabs that form. Dr. Vivian Virginia Vetrano suggests bathing the pustules with Goldenseal tea and Yellow Dock root, or Burdock root.
- Anthrax – a very deadly disease with the mode of transmission usually occurring via infected animals/livestock, by: a. Eating contaminated meat, and b. Handling of infected animals. Anthrax is referred to as Wool Sorter’s Disease. Terrorists would most likely use the spores; they could be dropped from a small aircraft and then they would be inhaled. Illness would occur post inhalation after 2 – 10 days, but signs may not be visible for 6 – 7 weeks. The bacteria lodge in the lymph nodes of the chest, at first presenting akin to common influenza. When this occurs, death is usually in 24 – 72 hours because of the infection and the shock brought on by toxins the bacteria produce. These toxins are waste products resulting from the normal metabolism of the bacteria.
Antibiotic treatment and vaccine after the patient is exposed but before symptoms occur greatly improves the odds of survival. Antibiotic treatments include Doxycycline (Drug of Choice), Ciprofloxacin (#2 Drug of Choice), Erythromycin, Streptomycin, Tetracycline, or Chloramphenicol. Nursing procedures include proper hygiene and hydration, rest, and isolation.
Naturopathic aids include garlic, echinacea, oil of oregano, and vitamin C.
Garlic: Anthrax is highly susceptible to it; garlic stimulates the immune system and blocks the production of toxins mentioned earlier. Stops growth of or kills bacteria outright.
Echinacea: immune-enhancing herb.
Oil of Oregano: natural antibiotic more powerful than many types of antibiotics; 1 part in 4,000 for water will sterilize contaminated water.
Vitamin C: Single most important vitamin for the immune system and for infection recovery; supplement for management of anthrax infections.
- Plague (Bubonic Plague) – Weaponized plague takes the form of an inhaled aerosol. 1 – 6 days after inhaling the microbe, it turns to pneumonic plague. If no treatment is received, the victim goes into the kidney and respiratory failure. It is transmissible from person to person. The lymph nodes are painful and swollen; these are termed buboes. Appropriate and timely antibiotic therapy is crucial. Effective antibiotics include Streptomycin, Tetracycline, Gentamicin, Chloramphenicol, and Fluroroquinolones. A holistic aid is German Ipecac (Cynanchum vincetoxicum), harvested in Europe. The leaves and rhizome are the medical portions, and these are taken as an infusion to combat plague. Along with this, Vitamin C and Garlic can be employed effectively, along with proper rest, hygiene, and nursing measures.
- Hemorrhagic Fevers – these are ailments when the bodily fluids leak out of tissues in staggering amounts and the body is struck by the cytokine storm. Effects usually come about in 3 – 5 days, and they kill at least 35% of victims. Examples include Ebola spp., Yellow fever, and Lassa fever.
A Note for the Readers: There are two past articles available in Ready Nutrition that you can cross-reference so that I will not be redundant regarding these diseases, and they are as follows:
“Ebola and HFV’s: Herbs to Use or Not to Use,” (written by yours truly 3/20/2014); this article explains Hemorrhagic Flu Viruses in-depth and a list of herbal treatments to be employed, as well as traditional medical treatment available. The article details the problems of the cytokine storm and how you can defeat it.
“Water Procurement: Setting Up a Low-Budget Water Catchment System and Why it Will Save Your Life,” (also written by yours truly 4/6/15); the reason this article is important is it gives details on decontamination and setting up a sick room/convalescent ward in your home…worth reviewing in these instances.
The best way to avoid these illnesses is to avoid exposure to people and large crowds/metropolitan centers when these diseases occur. Isolation is the number one method to prevent your family from taking ill. In addition to this, there is specific gear you can invest in to further protect yourself. I recommend the following:
- Protective masks
- NBC (Nuclear Biological Chemical) protective suits (these complete with boots and gloves)
- Protective gloves
- Decontamination kits
Take the time to research them to see which are cost-effective. All of them are effective and can fit into your budget if you take the time to shop for them. The best time to do it is now, while the resources are still out there. Hope this article gave you some tools to use. Have a great day!