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Do's and Don'ts for Biological Disasters:
Before
Children and older adults are particularly vulnerable to biological agents. Ensure from a doctor/the nearest hospital that all the required or suggested immunizations are up to date.
During
  • In the event of a biological attack, public health officials may not immediately be able to provide information on what you should do. It will take time to determine what the illness is, how it should be treated, and who is in danger. Close the doors and windows when a biological attack is imminent.
  • Watch television, listen to radio, or check the Internet for official news and information including signs and symptoms of the disease, areas in danger, if medications or vaccinations are being distributed, and where you should seek medical attention if you become ill.
  • The first evidence of an attack may be when you notice symptoms of the disease caused by exposure to an agent.
  • Be suspicious of any symptoms you notice, but do not assume that any illness is a result of the attack.
  • Use common sense and practice good hygiene.
After
Pay close attention to all official warnings and instructions on how to proceed. The delivery of medical services for a biological event may be handled differently to respond to increased demand. The basic public health procedures and medical protocols for handling exposure to biological agents are the same as for any infectious disease. It is important for you to pay attention to official instructions via radio, television, and emergency alert systems.

However, if you notice of an unusual and suspicious substance nearby:
  • Move away quickly.
  • Cover your head and nose
  • Wash with soap and water.
  • Listen to the media for official instructions.
  • Seek medical attention if you become sick.

If you are exposed to a biological agent:
  • Use Filter masks
  • Follow official instructions for disposal of contaminated items such as bag and cloths.
  • Take bath with soap and put on clean clothes.
  • Seek medical assistance. If required and advised, stay away from others or even quarantined.

Documented Intentional Use of Biological Agents
The intentional use of biological agents to cause disease or death has a long history. The release of nerve agents Sarin in the Tokyo's sub ways killing 12 people in the year 1995 and the use of anthrax spores in the mails in the United States in 2001 are still fresh in our memory. Some of the documented events are as under:
  • Japan used plague bacilli in China during 1932-1945 causing 260,000 deaths
  • Dispersal of anthrax spores due to accident in production unit in USSR caused 68 deaths in 1979
  • In 1984, Osho followers used Salmonella typhimurium in salad in a restaurant in Oregaon, USA leading to 751 cases
  • Shigella dysenteriae Type 2 employed in Texas, USA in 1996
  • Anthrax through postal envelopes in USA in Oct-Nov 2001 leading to 22 cases and 5 deaths
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