Types of biological weapons

Types of biological weapons

Biological agents form part of deadly weapons that can be used on human beings. Biological weapons are classified into four classes, depending on the type of agents of microorganisms that are active. They are viruses, bacteria, Rickettsia, and toxins. In addition, those that are known to attack plants also include the fungi. These kinds of weapons require the agents to be multiplied before the agent can be released to the potential target.

The speed of replication and possibility of the agents to remain in a latent state for prolonged periods makes most of the biological agents to be deadly. Some have no vaccine while others mimic symptoms of known less serious illnesses. Anthrax, for example, is a deadly bacterial agent that can remain inactive in the soil for decades before it is transmitted to human beings. Once ingested, people the Bacillus anthracis can be diagnosed with the disease in a matter of hours. Although human beings cannot contract the bacterial agent directly from the soil, potential enemies can unleash aerosolized spores when the viruses remain suspended for long periods. Feeding animals can become agents for the disease and consumption of infected animals can infect people with the disease.

Fortunately, there is a vaccine for anthrax in cases where people fear attack using the agent. Delivery of the agent is through missiles, artillery missiles, and point release. Airplanes can also release aerosolized spores, which then can be suspended in the air. Inhalation of the agents by human beings of animals can activate the chain for contamination. Wild animals, especially herbivores can “hold” the agent in their furs, hides or they ingest them. When the animals die and decompose, the spores are released to the soil where they withstand high-temperature o flooding conditions, until they are exposed to ideal conditions for their germination. The symptoms of anthrax depend on the method of transmission.  It is this reason that target countries should be well equipped to distribute preventive mechanisms such as gas masks and vaccinations.

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