Confronting the growing threat of biowarfare
Daily Times Report
Recently we have all been made brutally aware of terrorism on our shores with the horrible tragedy of the aircraft hijacking and destruction of the World Trade Center and damage to the Pentagon. In the wake of these attacks public officials are raising concerns about other forms of potential terrorist attacks, including biological, chemical and nuclear threats.
Chemical warfare experts have been concerned for some time with the growing likelihood that a biological attack might be the next major disaster to be sprung on the American population.
The world became aware of the likelihood of a biological attack after reading the early draft of a book by microbiologist Larry Harris on preparing for biological defense. In his book Harris described an encounter with the wife of an Iraqi general he met while taking a graduate course in microbiology. The Iraqi microbiologist revealed to Harris a plan for importing vials of a biological toxin into the US by Iraqi tourists.
According to the plan these vials would be combined and disseminated in the US, causing a deliberate outbreak of anthrax or plague. The result of deploying one (or more) of these agents would rapidly overwhelm the medical system and exhaust the available supply of antibiotics, cause a great number of deaths, generate widespread panic, and destroy morale of the survivors.
Harris’ solution for readers of his book was to purchase veterinary antibiotics without a prescription from veterinary supply houses. Immediately after reading Harris’ book, one begins to notice other telltale signs raising the possibility of a biological attack against America.
First, was an obscure newspaper account buried in the inner pages of the newspaper that announced that a number of chemical-biological decontamination vehicles were being supplied to many major cities by the federal government, to counter the threat of domestic bio-terrorism.
However, there were those who were not at all ready to believe the claims of many thousands of people being decontaminated each hour by these miraculous vehicles. They believed that decontamination is a very slow, methodical, and labor-intensive task, and the vast numbers of persons the article claimed could be treated was grossly over-inflated.
Similarly, the prestigious Archives of Internal Medicine featured an article in its March, 1998, issue titled, ‘Anthrax as a potential biological warfare agent.’ Appearance of such articles raised suspicions that someone was either planning for or expecting a biological attack.
In mid-1998, it was reported in the AMA’s newspaper, American Medical News and the Army Times that the entire 2.4 million members of the US Military - both active and reserve - would be immunized against anthrax. Clearly, the warnings that Larry Harris had made in his book regarding the possibility of a biological attack appeared to have some validity, and were being taken seriously by those in the highest levels - and the time for such an attack may be near.
Being Prepared: In his book, Larry Harris has also suggested that people prepare by stocking up on antibiotics to be used in case of an outbreak of anthrax, plague or other infectious ‘weapons.’ Harris also suggested that those who did not have a cooperative physician who was willing to write prescriptions in advance for antibiotics could obtain them from a veterinary supply house.
When preparing for biowarfare, experts recommend Doxycycline - which was used to treat many victims of Gulf War Syndrome - as the antibiotic of choice. The usual dosage of doxycycline for routine infections is 100 mg twice daily for 10 days. For inhalation anthrax, which is a virulent, most often fatal disease, much higher doses will be needed. An example of the deadly nature of this condition was illustrated in a study conducted on Rhesus monkeys at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, at Fort Detrick, MD. Monkeys were exposed to a heads-only challenge of air-delivered anthrax spores. Beginning one day after exposure, the groups were treated with a number of modalities. Comparison of the controls with those treated with doxycycline is illustrated below.
Treatment: Anthrax Deaths Control (untreated) 9 out of 10 died Doxycycline 1 out of 10 died
It is clear that without treatment, the chances of dying will be at least 90%. Also, the antibiotics worked surprisingly well, even when treatment was started a day after exposure.
The US Army Handbook on the Medical Aspects of NBC Defensive Operations recommends 200 mg doxycycline intravenously, followed by 100 mg every 12 hours. Since oral doses provide lower blood levels than via the intravenous route, I would at least double this dosage. While this might be considered a heroic dose by many physicians, it must be emphasized that we are not dealing with bleeding hangnails here - inhalation of anthrax is a life-threatening illness, and heroic measures are warranted.
Culturelle (LGG) Probiotic: While many antibiotics are effective at killing pathogens, they also destroy ‘friendly’ gut microflora that play a vital role in human health and perform important metabolic functions that support the digestive system.
Lactobacillus GG is a specialized strain of lactic acid bacteria that is clinically proven to aid in normalizing gut functions while reducing diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nausea associated with use of powerful antibiotics. (15)
MSP Silver Liquid: For those who do not have access to prescription or veterinary antibiotics, or who want to potentially add to the effectiveness of the antibiotics, Mild Silver Protein (MSP) should be considered. MSP has a long history of safe use in a multitude of serious infectious illnesses.
Silver, in both liquid solution and as an airborne-aerosol, has been known since 1887 to be extremely toxic to Anthrax spores. (8-11) It is widely reported in the medical literature that various forms of Ag, often at surprisingly low concentrations, routinely kill germs that are known to be antibiotic-resistant. (11-14) There are no known pathogens which have demonstrated resistance to this remarkable antimicrobial substance.
Although there is not a clearly-defined dosage for MSP for such purposes, it would be prudent to err on the high side with MSP, in view of its overwhelming margin of safety.