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Source: JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association, March 24,
1999 v281 i12 p1075(1).

Title: Bioweapon Warning.(Quick Uptakes )
Author: Rebecca Voelker

Full Text COPYRIGHT 1999 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.

A prominent researcher credited with much of the success in eradicating smallpox 25 years ago has warned that the US medical community is ill-prepared to face a new threat from the virus--as a biological weapon in the hands of international terrorists.

In the February 26 issue of Science, D. A. Henderson, MD, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies, wrote that active bioweapons research and manufacture are under way in the former Soviet Union, Iraq, and about 10 other countries. He said smallpox and anthrax have been identified as the top two threats.

In the "remote but real" chance that US cities are targeted, Henderson said physicians, hospitals, and public health workers wouldn't be able to recognize never-before-seen symptoms of the smallpox virus or other agents. He called on the public and private sectors and the medical and public health communities to generate resources for training of emergency department physicians and nurses, improved diagnostic techniques, development and procurement of improved vaccines, and development of health care delivery guidelines specifically related to biological terrorism.

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