What to Do in the Event of an Anthrax Attack

Anthrax is caused by Bacillus anthracis, a bacterium that forms spores.  It can affect that skin, lungs and the digestive system. Usually Anthrax is spread by animals or by breathing in anthrax spores from infected animal product like wool. People have also been infected with the gastrointestinal type by eating undercooked meat from animals infected with the bacteria.



Anthrax has been used as a bio-terrorist weapon.  This happened in the United States in 2001 when a contaminated letter filled with powder containing anthrax was deliberately spread through the postal system.



Anthrax is classified by the Centers for Disease Control as a Category A agent.  This means that it can spread across a large area quickly and that it poses the greatest possible threat to public health.



If it is spread by skin contact then anthrax develops into sore black blisters that do not hurt. If it is ingested then the person experiences nausea, bloody diarrhea and fever.  If it is inhaled flue symptoms develop as well as  shortness of breath.  The symptoms usually occur within seven days of transmission but can also take as long as 42 days afterwords. Black mold is said to be the most deadly.



Antibiotics are used to treat all three types of anthrax so early identification of the symptoms are necessary.  Treatment is usually a sixty-day course of antibiotics.  The types of antibiotics used t treat it include ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, doxycycline or penicillin.



If you feel that you have been the victim of an anthrax attack you need to contact law enforcement right away. This is especially true if you have received a suspicious package or envelope that you think might contain anthrax powder. Since 2001 the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta in the United States has been working with doctors, veterinarians and health departments to help deal with another terrorist attack that deploys anthrax.  There is supposed to be, over a decade later after the initial attack, enough supplies to deal with deal with an instance of bio-terrorism.



Anthrax is difficult to treat because it is rare. However politicians and members of the U.S. armed forces are immunized against it. It is not foreseeable in the future that an immunization will be available to the general public in the next few years despite the fact that twenty four people were hurt badly in the anthrax attack that was spread through the U.S. postal service in 2001.

Types of Nuclear Attack Warnings

If there is going to be a nuclear attack you can expect to be warned in one or both of two ways.  A warning can be either strategic or tactical.


A strategic warning happens when  enemy actions are observed that lead us to believe that they are preparing to use nuclear weapons. This information could be broadcast over the news or through printed media over period of days. This does not necessarily mean that Americans would have much time to evacuate in the event of an emergency.  We would only have a day or so of warning. However there is enough time in the weeks during which an attack is being speculated about to put together a quick shelter.


A tactical warning is very official. News of a nuclear attack on the United States would be received by officials just a few minutes after missiles or other nuclear weapons had been launched against the country. Information from satellites would be feeding information into our satellites almost immediately.  The information would first be evaluated by the military and then decision would be made as to how it would all be handled.  Only then would news of the attack be transmitted via radio and television to citizens all over the country.


This can be a very last minute warning as once missiles are launched it takes between fifteen and forty minutes for the missiles to hit their targets in the United States. This does not give most Americans the ability to even get to the nearest shelter.  There may not be a lot you can do if you built your shelter at home and you are four miles away at your work and the missiles were launched fifteen minutes ago.


Aside from television and radio announcements the official warning system called NAW also gives warnings by siren. The warning signal is a single wavering and very loud wailing sound that lasts three to five minutes. In some areas of the country it may sound like a number of short blasts on a horn or a whistle.  After a brief pause these signals are repeated. If you hear them go directly to the closest available shelter. Do not phone, stop to get supplies or try to get hold of loved ones. An attack is immediate and imminent.


It is important that you familiarize yourself with the announcements and sounds of official nuclear warnings. Unfortunately many people have heard too many tests of these systems over the years and like a fire alarm pulled too many times in an apartment building they do not take the sound seriously.