anthrax preparedness

prepping for anthrax

what preppers need to know about anthrax bioterrorism

Anthrax (bacteria)
Prepping for Anthrax and bioterrorism

Anthrax is an acute disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. It
affects both humans and other animals. Most forms of the
disease are lethal. Like many other members of the genus
Bacillus, Bacillus anthracis can form dormant spores that can
survive in harsh conditions for extremely long periods of time-
even decades or centuries. Such spores can be found on all
continents, even Antarctica. When spores are inhaled, ingested,
or come into contact with a skin lesion on a host they may
reactivate and multiply rapidly.

Just one gram of anthrax can contain 100 million lethal doses,
according to the Discovery Channel. Bacillus anthracis is the
bacteria that causes anthrax, and exposure threatens to sicken
or kill people, livestock, or crops silently.

  • If exposed by touch,  Anthrax is essentially a skin disease
    that causes skin ulcers, fever and fatigue. About 20% of
    cases, if left untreated, are fatal.

  • If exposed by inhalation, Anthrax is extremely lethal with a
    99% fatality rate if left untreated. The spores can remain
    dormant until they find a place to multiply.

  • Anthrax is in the news again! In June 2015 the CDC found
    live anthrax in all test samples shipped by military, and
    orders labs to destroy remaining lots! Also:

When anthrax germs are inside your body they multiply and
release toxins to make you sick: however, the good and happy
news is that while anthrax is a rare and serious bacterial illness,
it is not contagious and best of all, it is treatable!  Thankfully
the cure for Anthrax is antibiotics (and there are also new

Unfortunately, anthrax is a quiet threat in bioterrorism. By this
we mean a "quiet" release of anthrax could be put into powders,
aerosol sprays, food and water. The spores are microscopic and
you may not be able to sees, smell or taste them according to
the Centers for Disease control.

    Three biological agents likely be used as weapons include:
  1. bacteria, such as anthrax or botulinum
  2. viruses, such as Avian Flu, smallpox, plague, and the
    Lassa viruses through person to person contact
  3. toxins, with includes any substance produced by an
    insect, animal, plant or microbe. There's a threat that
    toxins could spread by insects and animals, such as
    fleas, mice, flies, mosquitoes and livestock.

  • Postal threats (powdered anthrax). In 2001 anthrax
    debuted through the U.S. Postal system in powdered form.
    Of 22 exposed individuals (mail handlers), 12 died.

  • Food and water. Bio-terrorists could target food and water
    sources. For water you can filter through a Big Berkey, but
    there's not much you can do about food sources, other than
    to stock years of your own food.

  • Air. Anthrax might also be released through the air by car or
    truck, building or plane. Unfortunately it only takes a small
    amount of anthrax to affect large amounts of people.

Tips for dealing with a biological airborne attack:

  • Find yourself outside? If you are outside at the point of
    attack, head indoors; however be cautious about your
    clothing! If there are others inside drop your shoes and
    clothes at the door prior to entering so as not to
    contaminate the household.

  • Live in an apartment? Stuck at the office? Stay inside!
    According to the CDC, a building equipped with a modern,
    central heating and cooling system, such as with an
    apartment or office, will provide a modest level of filtration
    from outside biological contaminants.

    Moving inside, isn't enough. Take measure with these
    survival tips:
  1. Move to the top floors of the building. Why? Because
    gases and toxins are heavier than air and wills sink.
  2. Close windows and doors as you move your way up.
  3. Seal off the air vents and turn off air conditioning
    systems if you can. Place damp cloths underneath
    everything you've sealed up.
  4. Tape windows and doors to seal out gases.
  5. Once you're inside, move air through an air filter.

    TIP: Move air in your home through a HEPA filter.
    According to the Center's for Disease Control, "High-
    Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are useful in
    biological attacks." That's good to know if you have a
    central heating and cooling system with a HEPA filter.

    If you have a HEPA filter:
  • leave it on if it is running or
  • turn the fan on if it is not running.

  • When you're safely inside, decontiminate:
  1. Take it off: If you haven't already, get yourself
    naked! Remove all your clothing and accessories
    ensuring contaminants do not touch your mouth, nose
    and skin. This means you should not pull anything over
    your head. Instead: cut your clothing with scissors or a
    knife or rip it.
  2. Seal it up: Seal everything in a double plastic bag
    (preferably a biohazard bag if you have one).
  3. Clean up: Wash with soap and water to prevent as
    much absorption of the toxic agent as possible. Some
    may prefer 10 parts water1 part bleach. If water, soap
    and or bleach isn’t available, you can use a powder,
    such as baking soda, flour, or even talcum powder to
    absorb liquid contaminants. Leave it on your skin for at
    least 30 seconds before wiping off with a towel or
    other clean cloth.

  • If you must go outside again:
  • Get ready to wear your gas masks, eye protection,
    coverall, and gloves.
  • Seal up windows and doors with duct tape and drop

Precautions and preparations for future anthrax attacks
Early detection and diagnosis is most important when it comes
to Anthrax to save your life! There are ways to distinguish it
from other diseases. Know the symptoms!

To prepare for anthrax, take the following precautions:

  • Know the symptoms: Anthrax Symptoms may overlap with
    those of common respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses.
    Anthrax symptoms include:
  1. fever with chills, drenching sweats
  2. coughs with little or no mucus, sometimes including
    chest discomfort
  3. muscle pain, abdominal pain, or sore throats.
  4. headaches, confusion,
  5. nausea and vomiting
  6. fatigue, malaise or lethargy
  7. Doctors will find abnormalities chest X-ray, such as a
    widening of the space  between the lungs and fluid
    around the lung.

    It's important to alert public health agencies about
    potential exposure, if for example the patient is a postal
    worker, government agency worker or in the public eye, such
    as a media personality. These factors may improve

  • Have disposable Nitrile gloves on hand. If you work in an
    office, avoid handling the mail. If your job requires you to
    handle mail, at minimum wear protective gloves.

  • Get yourself a HEPA filter to prepare for the next attack!

  • Germ Guardian, with HEPA air filtration,  pictured immediate
    left, captures 99.7% of allergens, including dust mites, pet
    dander, plant pollens and more. Wajht's more the UV-C
    light works with the HEPA fitler to kill airborne bacteria,
    viruses and mold spores. The American Academy of Pediatric
    Allergy and Immunology, recommends HEPA air filtration to
    reduce exposure to indoor asthma triggers.

  • Honeywell HEPA Air Purifier, pictured below:

  • Ask your doctor if you can have an extra antibiotics
    prescription handy. This may not be possible because of
    limited availability, and if this is the case you can ask your
    doctor about fish antibiotics. It's important to know that if
    you have an exposure to anthrax you should take antibiotics
    before you feel sick. In this way the antibiotics can attack
    the anthrax germs before they make toxins. In this way you
    will avoid feeling sick. Antibiotics stop the germs from
    growing. When anthrax can't grow anymore, the contagion
    dies. Unfortunately, this process could take months. You'll
    be on maintenance mode with the antibiotics: don't stop
    taking them until directed to stop or when you finish your
    prescription, or you will allow the germs to grow and then
    you'll get sick again.

  • Anthrax vaccine?  Is an anthrax vaccine necessary?
    Antibiotics, including ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, and
    amoxicillin will provide therapeutic interventions for any
    form of anthrax. Learn more about an anthrax vaccine.

  • Anthrax hoax? No article on Anthrax would be complete if
    it had not a mention of the conspiracy theory surrounding
    the anthrax letter attacks that  started in September
    through November of 2001, killing five and wounding many.
    The attacks were widely held to be the work of Muslims and
    were used to support the invasion of Afghanistan and, later,
    the invasion of Iraq. They were used explicitly and
    repeatedly to justify the passing of the Patriot Act. They
    were also meant to support withdrawal from the
    Antiballistic Missile Treaty. One popular idea was the
    Double Perpetrator hypothesis according to which Iraq had
    supplied the sophisticated anthrax spores while al-Qaeda
    had supplied the foot soldiers responsible for preparing and
    sending the letters. This hypothesis was eagerly reported
    by the mainstream media, but then scientists discovered
    the anthrax spores had a domestic source and appeared to
    come from the heart of the US military and intelligence
    communities. The FBI rapidly began a search for "the
    anthrax killer," promoting the idea that there was a lone
    wolf perpetrator within the military community. In 2008 the
    Bureau named Dr. Bruce Ivins of the United States Army
    Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases as the
    "anthrax killer." Ivins had conveniently died a week before
    being named and could not fight back in court. Ivins
    remains the FBI's choice to this day: the case was closed in
    2010. The book, The 2001 Anthrax Decision, by Graeme
    MacQueen was written in support of four assertions: (a) the
    anthrax letter attacks were carried out by a group of
    perpetrators, not by a “lone wolf;” (b) the group that
    perpetrated this crime was composed, in whole or in part, of
    deep insiders within the U.S. state apparatus; (c) these
    insiders were connected to the perpetrators of the 9/11
    attacks; (d) the anthrax attacks were meant to play an
    important role in the strategy of redefinition through which
    the Cold War was replaced by a new global conflict
    framework, the Global War on Terror. Give a look at this
    popular book!

In the end, it's important to note events that would raise a
suspicion of Anthrax exposure. Be aware that targets of Anthrax
may postal workers, also government employees or media, so
occupation may be an important factor to help provide a

Happy endings...
It used to be that inhalation of Anthrax was a death sentence.
Today, thankfully, that is not the case. Quick diagnosis is key
and with the diagnosis a rapid response. In 2001 those that
received a diagnosis in three days fared much better than those
who got their diagnosis later, five to seven days. The more
preppers know about anthrax and
bioterrorism, the more apt
they are to survive exposure.

In dealing with bioterrorism, it's important to get the facts.
Learn more about prepping for
bioterrorism and chemical warfare.

Related articles...

Did you know that Anthrax is a food-borne illness? Anthrax
could be inhaled or ingested in an act of bioterrorism. Learn
more about food poisoning.

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