Smallpox: Is the Department of Defense Prepared?
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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Biological weapons pose a clear and present danger to U.S. national security, U.S. forces, and key allies and friends. Their low cost, low visibility, high potency, accessibility, and easy delivery make BW attractive to adversaries seeking new methods of violence when current ones no longer achieve their intended effect. With a case fatality rate of 30 percent and no effective treatment smallpox is one of the most feared of all biological weapons. Thus, the central research question is Given the asymmetric threat posed by biological weapons and recent advances in biotechnology, is the Department of Defense DoD prepared to counter the current smallpox threat A comparative analysis was completed evaluating differences between smallpox and influenza preparedness. The analysis included evaluation of detection and surveillance the components of recognition, as well as applied research, specialized infrastructure, and disease prevention and control the elements of intervention. The analysis determined DoD is largely unprepared. Recommendations to improve response include research and development of new vaccines and antivirals, enhanced vaccine production capacity, additional research focused at bolstering nonspecific immunity, improved clinical diagnostics and additional specialized laboratory infrastructure.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare