BIOTERRORISM: How You Can SURVIVE by Russell L Blaylock, MD, Physicians Preference, Inc, ( 1Ė877-351-0593, 36 pp, $10

Review by Del Meyer, MD

Bioterrorism took front and center stage in October 2001 only a month after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. But acts of terror have been present in the United States for more than 15 years, e.g. the intentional Salmonella contamination in Oregon in 1984, and the Shigella contamination in a hospital in Texas in 1996.

The Soviet program, under the aegis of Biopreparate which at its height employed more than fifty thousand scientists and technicians in over forty research and production facilities, was allegedly dismantled by Yeltsin in 1989. The resulting diaspora of tens of thousands of highly trained bioweapons personnel left many wondering: where are these people now and what are they doing?

In 1998, Robin Cook, MD, points out in the "authorís notes"of his medical novel, Vector, (Penguin Putnam, Inc, © 1999) that much of what his characters say about bioweapons and bioterrorism is true. He documented the sources of his information, as he frequently does, with key references. He stated that it is not a question of whether a major bioterrorism attack in the United States will occur, but only a question of when. Three years later in October 2001, Anthrax spores were indeed sent by mail just as Robin Cook predicted. With a few dozen envelops, terrorists in this country have demonstrated that almost anyone can be reached. As a result, three people have died and forty-one have been confirmed infected.

The hospitals in the Sacramento area had bioterrorism as a topic for their grand rounds within weeks. Medical societies had terrorist workshops within the first few months.

The Mayo Clinic sent an Health Information Bioterrorism Alert within a month of the Anthrax scare outlining the threat of Anthrax, Botulism, Small Pox, Plague, Tularemia, Viral Hemorrhagic fevers, as well as chemical weapons such as the sarin gas in Tokyo, with mustard gas, chlorine, phosgene and hydrogen cyanide gases. However, it minimize the risks as stating that these weapons are difficult to control once released and the risk to most Americans has been considered low.

Bioterrorism: How you can survive is a privately published and timely work by Russell L Blaylock, MD, a neurosurgeon. It was published just after the biologic terrorism of October 2001 and gives a fresh presentation of facts as well as a hopeful perspective. The public in general does not see the terrorist network as a unified enemy, but rather as small groups of disgruntled, poorly educated impoverished bands of nutcases who can periodically cause nasty things to happen and are no real danger to the powerful West. The fact that terrorist organizations appear so dispersed and disjointed is not a weakness but a strength and makes the counterterroristís job that much more difficult. Many terrorism experts have stated on television that biological agents are too difficult for the average terrorist to dispense. University medical specialists in infectious disease who were interviewed on television news had no expertise in weaponized biological agents and merely described naturally occurring disease. One even assured the audience that anthrax would not make a good terrorist weapon.

But Blaylock quotes Dr Michael Osterholm, author of Living Terrors, who points out that there are numerous compact aerosol devices available in medical supply and hardware stores that efficiently dispense these biological weapons inexpensively. Even a simple humidifier was very efficient in dispersing test organisms over a wide area. The effectiveness of bioweapon killing power is illuminating by this comparison: In order to kill everyone in a square kilometer, conventional weapons would cost about $2,000, nuclear $800, nerve gas $600, and biological weapons $1. Research has determined that new and used crop dusting airplanes, which can spray both dry and wet materials, can be purchased over the internet with no questions asked. The buyer and seller never meet. As Major General Marshall Stubbs warned in 1986, an enemy with only ten aircraft with dry biological material such as anthrax or plague, could kill or incapacitate 70 million Americans.

Other bioweapons such as smallpox, plague and ten or more others which we are inexperienced to defend against are chosen by terrorists for that very reason. Vaccines are very specific and will not protect us against the large number of microorganisms that have been weaponized. Blaylock outlines the basic care we should follow in case of exposure bringing us back to Americaís frontiers of yesteryear. He also recommends use of nutritional supplements and dietary modifications to protect ourselves and our loved ones against bioterrorism as well as what we should keep in our emergency supply chest. In case of onset of actual disease, he outlines a program of maximizing normal body defenses.

Blaylock points out the pitfalls of much of what is stated by experts and the media. The terrorists not only want to kill us, but also destroy our economy. Just as the destruction of the world trade center killed 3,000 people, it also put over a million people out of work. Blaylock reminds us that terrorism is not an end in itself. Initially it was used to get the mediaís attention, make demands, change our foreign policy. Then the terrorists destroyed property and blew up airplanes, ships, marine barracks, and embassies. As the level of violence increased, the demands became fewer. Now they are seeking a world socialist government ruled by terrorist elite, under the guise of Islamic fundamentalism. As their writings and speeches proclaim, the new goal is the total destruction of the West, Christianity, and capitalism. Nothing less will be accepted.

Joseph D Douglass, Jr, PhD, coauthor of America the Vulnerable: The Threat of Chemical and Biological Warfare and CBW: The Poor Manís Atomic Bomb states in his introduction that Blaylockís book is the best on the problem of biological warfare he has read in over 30 years. He surmises that we have just seen the initial warning of terrorist attacks; escalation can come in almost any form.

If the limited attack through the mail system with three fatalities and forty-one infected can overwhelm the capabilities of our CDC to its breaking point according to its chief, what will happen in a real terrorist attack affecting thousands and millions? Blaylockís pamphlet is literally packed with information that every physician and every family should read and study before itís too late. It will depend on the information thatís given in this book for us to survive.

Bioterrorism: How You Can Survive

Table of Contents

1. What is the threat?
2. How does bioterrorism differ from natural epidemics?
3. Do the terrorists groups have these sophisticated bioweapons?
4. Are we prepared as a country to handle a major bioterrorism threat?
5. How can nutrition protect you against bioterrorism?
6. Are there special nutritional immune stimulants?
7. What about the anthrax toxin? Can it be neutralized?
8. What about smallpox?
9. What is the incubation period?
10. What about the actual inset of the disease
11. Basic care
12. What about anthrax?
13. What about cutaneous anthrax?
14. What is gastrointestinal anthrax?
15. Pulmonary anthrax
16. How is anthrax treated?
17. How to use nutritional supplements to protect yourself and your loved ones against bioterrorism
18. Dietary recommendations
19. Other precautions
20. A special energy supplement
21. What should be in your emergency supplies?
22. Things you need to know about taking antibiotics
23. A final word
24. Scientific references
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