Tuesday, February 21, 2012


The American Anthrax attacks of 2001, which the FBI itself have named 'Amerithrax', provide an insight into how we might respond to a major bioterror threat.

UCLA's department of epidemiology in the School of Public Health has gathered together virtually every piece of publicly available information to create an incredibly detailed timeline with information on every single case.

Epidemiologists are often called "disease detectives," using many of the same methods as regular detectives to determine the cause of disease outbreaks, epidemics (i.e., larger excess in disease cases), or even pandemics (i.e., worldwide excess in disease cases). The anthrax outbreak in the United States which occurred during the latter part of 2001 has many of the same characteristics as a typical outbreak. What is different, however, is that there was no transmission from infected to susceptible persons that linked one case with another. Instead, all of the cases were generated by a terrorist or group of terrorists who sent letters containing anthrax spores through the postal system.

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