Encyclopedia of Bioterrorism Defense updated

Two internationally recognized experts on biological weapons recently released the second edition of the Encyclopedia of Bioterrorism Defense.

Dr. Rebecca Katz, a consultant to the U.S. State Department and an expert on public health and national security, and Dr. Raymond Zilinskas, a former United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq, have updated their comprehensive guide to bioterrorism.

"Bioterrorism can be defined as the use, or threatened use, of biological agents against people, plants or animals to promote or spread fear, intimidation, or cause morbidity or mortality in civilian populations," Katz said. "Interestingly many of the traditional biological weapons agents are found in nature, and many are disseminated using methods such as aerosolization and food or water contamination."

The encyclopedia is considered a survey of science, medicine, technology, politics and law as they relate to bioterrorism and national security. After examining diseases such as anthrax, plague and smallpox, the book analyzes detection mechanisms, the clinical presentation of diseases, risk assessments and past incidents of bioterrorism.

"The increased recognition of the threat of bioterrorism, combined with the attacks of 2001, has led to a dramatic increase in efforts to create a robust biodefense infrastructure," Katz said. "This has included federal, state and government entities to detect threats, prepare for possible attack and respond effectively to bioterrorism."