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Britain's Anthrax Island

Discussion in 'Random Discussion' started by deh, Feb 12, 2003.

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  1. deh

    deh Thread Starter

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    I was going to call this subject Iraq but didn't want to upset pyritechips. ;) HA j/k

    We were sitting around talking about this the other day and NO i don't let it control my life it is still kind of scary. Living in Jersey I am relatively close to NYC, Philly and not that far from DC. We were just talking about the release of anthrax via dirty bomb. Although they say that to disperse it in such a way is "impossible" it was done 60 years ago. Something tells me that 60 year old technology wouldn't be all that difficult to develop or acquire. Now getting it in the country may be a different story but I never thought I'd ever look into NYC and not see the towers.

    Now sparing the lecture of living in fear as the other threads I agree but is a survival mechanism to extent, thus why people don't generally do crazy things. To fear to a point where it effects every aspect of your life is one thing but to have no fear is ridiculous. That's not really the point I was making since that was another thread but I do think that you should have 2 meeting places with immediate family and have a contact outside of the state, incase something happens. At the very minimum that would be a prudent thing to do, I mean that could apply for Earthquake, fire, etc. When the towers went down it was mass chaos and to try to make phone calls, forget it. People around here wanted to make sure everyone was OK even if they knew somebody was 100 miles away from NYC.


    Anyways back to the orginal point:

    Sheep were taken to an open field, secured in wooden frames, and exposed to a bomb that scattered the spores. The sheep started dying three days later.

    Despite attempts to disinfect Gruinard Island, the spores left by the experiments kept the island in quarantine for 48 years.

    The final WW II report on the Gruinard Island tests suggested anthrax could be used to render cities uninhabitable "for generations".

    That my friends was with 60 year old technology.

    Once again I'm not trying to cause unreasonable fear just actually sort of mentioning a conversation I had yesterday.
     
  2. AlbertB

    AlbertB

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    Hi deh, don't get too excited about this. If you look into it you will find out some surprising facts.

    Firstly, the Island is only a couple of hundred yards offshore opposite a village, Mungasdale.

    Secondly, even though an infected sheep washed up on the mainland and infected other livestock there, there have been no human problems.

    Thirdly, locals report that they used to go onto the island regularly, despite keep out signs, even for picnics on the beach!

    Fourthly, after 50 years without a single human problem the authorities put a local contractor onto the decontamination process. He accomplished it with seawater and formaldehyde.

    Hardly panic inducing stuff. Nowadays, of course, technology will have moved on, but it shows that there was maybe an element of truth in the authorities trying to play down fears in the more recent scare. Sleep easy, it's not the biggest problem we face :) .
     
  3. deh

    deh Thread Starter

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    Ahh s'all good. As I said I don't let fear rule my life but having some plan of action for any emergency is a good idea.
     
  4. LANMaster

    LANMaster Banned

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    I'm not too worried about anthrax. At least not from a health issue for me personally. Anthrax is a terror weapon designed to hurt us economically. Saddam has TONS of it. Enough to choke our economy for generations.

    From a health standpoint, I'd have to say smallpox is a much greater threat. I was immunized in the 70's and they say that immunity no longer exists for many who received the vaccinations when I did. Since both of my kids were born in the 80's, neither one of them are vaccinated for smallpox.

    Iraq has been developing smallpox to be used as a weapon.

    Iraq may have gotten their smallpox strain from the former USSR. If that is the case, vaccines won't work anyway. The Russian strain is vaccine proof

    "I have no doubt in my mind that Iraq does have the smallpox virus," said Dr. Ken Alibek, a top official in the former Soviet Union's biological weapons program before defecting to the United States in 1992.

    Unlike anthrax, the highly contagious smallpox virus can be passed from person to person. The virus causes ugly pustules to form both on the skin and inside the mouth and throat. About a third of unvaccinated people who get the disease would die.

    "As bad as anthrax is, it's not as bad as smallpox, which could run into the thousands to tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands (of deaths) in some imaginable scenarios," said Robert Gallucci, former deputy director of the U.N. weapons inspection program, now dean of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.

    An exercise in 2000 that simulated smallpox attacks on Philadelphia, Atlanta and Oklahoma City projected that after two months, a million people could be dead and an additional 2 million infected.

    In 1994, U.N. inspectors at an Iraqi medical complex found a freeze-dryer labeled "smallpox" in Arabic, said former inspector Jonathan Tucker. The Iraqis claimed the equipment was used to make smallpox vaccine, Tucker said. A freeze-dryer could be used to make a weaponized form of the smallpox virus.

    Iraq also admitted to U.N. inspectors that its biological weapons scientists worked with camelpox, a close relative of the smallpox virus that doesn't usually infect people. Working with camelpox would give Iraq a way to perfect techniques for making smallpox weapons without endangering the researchers. There is really no other explanation for the creation of camelpox, than to practice at making weaponized smallpox.

    So, I'm not too worried about Anthrax as a health risk from terrorists. Smallpox is another thing entirely. Smallpox scares the hell out of me. If released on the world we could see a global reduction in the Eath's human population by 1/3 or more due to this Russian strain. That's about 2 billion people.
     
  5. deh

    deh Thread Starter

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    I agree with you LAN, for some reason the Anthrax conversation came up and I am probably a bit more concerned of Anthrax or a small plutonium device than you but I feel for good cause. Concerned is a bit of a strong word, I'm not concerned but have to be prepared.

    I know people are going to deny this but I think the WTC and Pentagon attacks hit us a little harder than Britain and even other regions of the US. Hey we are All the way over there. I am not saying in the least that noone cared and if it is taken that way that is the wrong way to take it but so be it if so.

    I will say that if something happened in California I would be upset but I don't think it would have as much impact on someone living in California. Let's face it with all due respect do you think the British would be more devestated if Parliament was hit or Pentagon and vice versa?

    Bottom line: The WTC attacks literally hit close to home (lot's of funerals/memorials).
     
  6. $teve

    $teve

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    as a sarcastic humoured englishman ill refrain from answering this.......it will be hard,but ill try:D
     
  7. AlbertB

    AlbertB

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    You are absolutely right in your assessment deh. We over here would agree with you, no amount of what you feel in sympathy and support for someone else's grief can be the same as when it happens to your own. Just so long as you don't forget that we DO sympathise deeply.

    I think it would not be surprising to find out that what you say about the East coast/West coast thing is true too. In a little group of countries some 600miles by 350miles it is easy for eveything to be more personal and connected. Though you are politically and spiritually connected the vast distance must mean that the feeling of connection is diluted. You are all human after all.
     
  8. angelize56

    angelize56 Always remembered in our hearts

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    $teve and Albert: A little off the track here....but the death of "England's Rose" Princess Diana sure hit us hard here in the US too. I can't remember ever admiring anyone from outside the US as much as I did her. If only the US had a few in our lot like her! :) I don't think there will ever be anyone like her ever again in my lifetime! I was so saddened when I learned of her death. Actually lots of us here stayed glued to the tv from the moment we heard of her accident, then her death and right up to her funeral. :( Thank you for sharing and gracing us with such a lovely Princess and woman. :) Take care. angel
     
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