ioterrorism is the intentional release of biological agents or toxins in order to affect humans, animals or plants. It can be also done to terrorize a civilian population or manipulating the government. If we check the statistics of the last two decades it is quite blatant that this threat of biological warfare is not at all a myth but has become a harsh reality. The most commonly used agents are bacteria, viruses and toxins. These germs eventually get spread through air physical contact, animals, food or water. Even though these microbes are already present in the environment but to use them as weapons, their ability is increased so that they can cause severe infections. Sometimes they can be even hard to detect and can remain unnoticed for several days. Scientists worry that anthrax, botulism, Ebola and other hemorrhagic fever viruses, plague or smallpox could be used as biological agents. People have even described the next hundred years as the ‘century of biology. ‘With the rapid technological progress it has become easy for terrorists to overcome barriers in bio molecular engineering that existed in the past.
There have been some episodes regarding the same which have raised suspicion. One such example is a scrub typhus outbreak in northeastern India during the Indo Pakistan war of 1965. Also India’s defense and intelligence team was alert to the outbreak of pneumonic plague in Surat and Bubonic plague in Beed in 1994. Nowadays, newer trends are products of microbes which target hormones, neuropeptides or cytokines and eventually take an organ in its grip. There is also usage of ethnic bombs and parasite biological weapons which affect cash crops. There is also evidence that pets could act as sentinels in a bioterrorism attack. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), biological agents pose a risk to national security because they are easily disseminated; cause high mortality, which would have a major impact on public health systems; cause panic and social disruptions; and require special action and funding to increase public preparedness. So whenever we face such situations public should be kept aware. It is mandatory to keep a check on warning, notification and response phases of the situation. Standard operating procedures need to be adhered to.