Confronting and protecting against the
Ward Dean, MD
Recently we have all been made brutally
aware of terrorism on our shores with the horrible tragedy of
the aircraft hijacking and destruction of the World Trade Center
and damage to the Pentagon. In the wake of these attacks public
officials are raising concerns about other forms of potential
terrorist attacks, including biological, chemical and nucl ear
threats. While not an expert in nuclear or chemical warfare, I
have been concerned for some time with the growing likelihood
that a biological attack might be the next major disaster to be
sprung on the American population.
I first became acutely aware of the growing threat of
international terrorism when I served as the Flight Surgeon for
the Delta Force in the early 1980s (Fig. 1). My concern about
the likelihood of a biological attack was amplified after
reading the early draft of a book by microbiologist Larry Harris
on preparing for biological defense. (1) In his book Harris
described an encounter with the wife of an Iraqi general he met
while taking a graduate course in microbiology. The Iraqi
microbiologist revealed to Mr. Harris a plan for importing vials
of a biological toxin into the US by Iraqi tourists. According
to the plan these vials would be combined and disseminated in
the US, causing a deliberate outbreak of anthrax or plague. The
result of deploying one (or more) of these agents would rapidly
overwhelm the medical system and exhaust the available supply of
antibiotics, cause a great number of deaths, generate widespread
panic, and destroy morale of the survivors. Harris solution for
readers of his book was to purchase veterinary antibiotics
without a prescription from veterinary supply houses.
Shortly after reading Harris book, I began to notice other
telltale signs raising the possibility of a biological attack
against America. First, was an obscure newspaper account buried
in the inner pages of the newspaper that announced that a number
of chemical-biological decontamination vehicles were being
supplied to many major cities by the federal government, to
counter the threat of domestic bio-terrorism. I almost laughed
out loud as I read bloated claims of many thousands of people
being decontaminated each hour by these miraculous vehicles. In
my previous career as an Army Flight Surgeon I attended the
Armys course on Medical Aspects of Nuclear, Biological and
Chemical Casualties, and participated in a number of exercises
designed to test our decontamination procedures and
capabilities. I know from experience that decontamination is a
very slow, methodical, and labor-intensive task, and the vast
numbers of persons the article claimed could be treated was
Other indicators followed in rapid succession: The Journal of
the American Medical Association (August 6th, 1997) devoted an
entire issue to the subject; (2) the theme of the annual
scientific meeting of the Association of Military Surgeons of
the US in 1998 focused on chemical and biological warfare; and
while attending a medical meeting in Alexandria, Virginia, I
accidentally ventured into an adjacent meeting by an association
devoted to non-governmental intelligence gathering sources
(which are used by the government) and found a pile of
expensively-produced, heavy slick paper, four color pamphlets to
be given away for free, that had absolutely no attribution as to
authorship or publisher. This had the clear fingerprint of a CIA
or other alphabet agency publication.
Next, the prestigious Archives of Internal Medicine featured an
article in its March, 1998, issue titled, Anthrax as a potential
biological warfare agent. (3) Clearly, someone was either
planning for or expecting a biological attack.
In mid-1998, it was reported in the AMAs newspaper, American
Medical News, (4) and the Army Times, (5) that the entire 2.4
million members of the U.S. Military -- both active and reserve
-- would be immunized against anthrax. Clearly, the warnings
that Larry Harris had made in his book regarding the possibility
of a biological attack appeared to have some validity, and were
being taken seriously by those in the highest levels -- and the
time for such an attack may be near.
As an Eagle Scout, I believe in the Boy Scout motto, Be
Prepared. Larry Harris suggested that people prepare by stocking
up on antibiotics to be used in case of an outbreak of anthrax,
plague (Fig. 2), or other infectious weapons. Harris also
suggested that those who did not have a cooperative physician
who was willing to write prescriptions in advance for
antibiotics could obtain them from a veterinary supply house.
When preparing for biowarfare I recommend Doxycycline -- which
was used to treat many victims of Gulf War Syndrome -- as the
antibiotic of choice. The usual dosage of doxycycline for
routine infections is 100 mg twice daily for 10 days. For
inhalation anthrax, which is a virulent, most often fatal
disease, much higher doses will be needed. An example of the
deadly nature of this condition was illustrated in a study
conducted on Rhesus monkeys at the US Army Medical Research
Institute of Infectious Diseases, at Fort Detrick, MD. (6)
Monkeys were exposed to a heads-only challenge of air-delivered
anthrax spores. Beginning one day after exposure, the groups
were treated with a number of modalities. Comparison of the
controls with those treated with doxycycline is illustrated
||9 out of 10 died
||1 out of 10 died
It is clear that without treatment, the chances of dying will be
at least 90%. Also, the antibiotics worked surprisingly well,
even when treatment was started a day after exposure.
The US Army Handbook on the Medical Aspects of NBC Defensive
Operations recommends 200 mg doxycycline intravenously, followed
by 100 mg every 12 hours. (7) Since oral doses provide lower
blood levels than via the intravenous route, I would at least
double this dosage. While this might be considered a heroic dose
by many physicians, it must be emphasized that we are not
dealing with bleeding hangnails here -- inhalation of anthrax is
a life-threatening illness, and heroic measures are warranted.
I strongly recommend the book, Bacteriological Warfare -- A
Major Threat to North America -- What You and Your Family Can Do
Before and After, by Larry Wayne Harris. I also recommend that
everyone stock up on a supply of Doxycycline, adequate to treat
every member of the family should the need arise. Although
doxycycline, like the tetracyclines, can be toxic if used beyond
its expiration date, there is an easy way to tell if the drug is
still safe to use. Simply dissolve it in water. If it dissolves
completely, and the water is clear, it is safe to use. If there
is a precipitate, or the water becomes discolored, the drug is
no longer safe to use.
Culturelle (LGG) Probiotic
While many antibiotics are effective at killing pathogens, they
also destroy friendly gut microflora that play a vital role in
human health and perform important metabolic functions that
support the digestive system. Lactobacillus GG is a specialized
strain of lactic acid bacteria that is clinically proven to aid
in normalizing gut functions while reducing diarrhea, abdominal
pain, and nausea associated with use of powerful antibiotics.
MSP Silver Liquid
For those who do not have access to prescription or veterinary
antibiotics, or who want to potentially add to the effectiveness
of the antibiotics, Mild Silver Protein (MSP) should be
considered. MSP has a long history of safe use in a multitude of
serious infectious illnesses.
Silver, in both liquid solution and as an airborne-aerosol, has
been known since 1887 to be extremely toxic to Anthrax spores.
(8-11) It is widely reported in the medical literature that
various forms of Ag, often at surprisingly low concentrations,
routinely kill germs that are known to be antibiotic-resistant.
(11-14) There are no known pathogens which have demonstrated
resistance to this remarkable antimicrobial substance. Although
there is not a clearly-defined dosage for MSP for such purposes,
it would be prudent to err on the high side with MSP, in view of
its overwhelming margin of safety.
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1. Harris, Larry Wayne. Bacteriological Warfare -- A Major
Threat to North America. What You and Your Family Can Do Before
and After. Virtue International Publishing, 1825 South Franklin
Road, Indianapolis, Indiana 46239 (800-984-7883).
2. J American Medical Association, August 6, 1997, Vol 278, No.
3. Pile, James C., Malone, John D., Eitzen, Edward M., and
Friedlander, Arthur M. Anthrax as a potential biological warfare
agent. Arch Intern Med, 158: March 9, 1998, 429-434.
4. Mulholland, David. Chem-bio attack fears drive new market,
Army Times, May 11, 1998, p. 32.
5. Stapleton, Stephanie. Immunizing against biowarfare threat.
American Medical News, 41: 23, June 15/22, 1998, pp. 1, 72.
6. Friedlander, Arthur M., Postexposure Prophylaxis against
Experimental Inhalation Anthrax . J Infect Dis, 1993;
7. U.S. Army Handbook on the Medical Aspects of NBC Defensive
Operations, U.S. Govt Printing Office, 1996.
8. H. Bechhold. Colloids in Biology and Medicine, N.Y.: D. van
Nostrand, 1919, pp. 364-76.
9. D. Long, and S. Spencer Jones. Bioterrorism: Secrets for
Surviving the Coming Terrorist Germ Warfare Attacks on US
Cities, Barstow, CA: Life & Health Research Group, 1998.
10. N. Grier. Silver and Its Compounds, in Disinfection,
Sterilization and Preservation, 1983, S. Block, ed.,
Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 380-428.
11. I. Romans. Silver Compounds and Oligodynamic Metals in
Antiseptics, Disinfectants, Fungicides and Chemical and Physical
Sterilization, 1954, G. Reddish, ed., Philadelphia: Lea &
12. J. Powell. Our Mightiest Germ Fighter, Sci. Digest, 1978,
13. T. Berger et al. Electrically Generated Silver Ions:
Quantitative Effects on Bacterial and Mammalian Cells,
Antimicrob Agents Chemother, 1976, 9, 357-58.
14. T. Berger et al. Antifungal Properties of Electrically
Generated Silver Ions, Antimicrob Agents Chemother, 1976, 10,
15. Isolauri E, Juntunen M, Rautanen T, Sillanaukee P, Koivula
T. A human Lactobacillus strain (Lactobacillus casei sp strain
GG) promotes recovery from acute diarrhea in children.
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