Biological Weapons and Bioterrorism

Authored by: Gregory D. Koblentz

Routledge Handbook of Global Health Security

Print publication date:  August  2014
Online publication date:  August  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415645478
eBook ISBN: 9780203078563
Adobe ISBN: 9781136155574


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One of the earliest recognitions of the connection between health and security can be found in the domain of biological warfare. Biological warfare has been described as “public health in reverse” (Rosebury 1949), Historically, state-based biological warfare programs have been viewed as posing the only biological threat to international security. More recently, non-state actors such as terrorists and criminals have also demonstrated an interest in acquiring and using biological agents as weapons (Koblentz 2010). This chapter reviews the threat posed by biological weapons in the hands of states and terrorists and describes international efforts to control the proliferation of biological weapons.

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