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J Infect. 1997 Mar;34(2):127-32.

Preparation for emergency relief after biological warfare.

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Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Zurich, Switzerland.


Upon invitation by the World Health Organization during the Gulf War, a task force "Scorpio" independent from the nations involved in the armed conflict was formed whose task was to determine whether, which and to what extent biological warfare agents had been used. risk assessment concluded that anthrax and Clostridium botulinum toxin were the major risks. The 21 civilian experts had rapidly to decide on the doctrine of operation, to assemble material which could be used and to be immunized or protected otherwise against the potential risks. Biological warfare agents may be used anywhere any time, be it by terrorists or during open or clandestine hostilities. The general population cannot rely on the military to take care of civilian relief, thus international and national organizations may wish to establish similar task forces basing on the "Scorpio" model on a national or regional basis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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