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Excerpted From:  S Das* and VK Kataria, Bioterrorism: A Public Health Perspective Med J Armed Forces India. 2010 Jul; 66(3): 255–260,  Published online 2011 Jul 21. doi: 10.1016/S0377-1237(10)80051-6,  PMCID: PMC4921253, PMID: 27408313,  (Full Document) (Last Visited: March 30, 2020)


The threat of biological warfare seems remote to most industrialized and developing nations. However, the threat of bioterrorism, in which biological agents are used by extremists as weapons against civilian populations, is a matter of concern. Nations and dissident groups exist that have both the motivation and access to skills to selectively cultivate some of the most dangerous pathogens and to deploy them as agents in acts of terrorism. Although a bioterrorist attack is difficult to predict, the consequences of a successful attack could be devastating and cannot be ignored.

Bioterrorism and its effects can impose heavy demands on the public health care system which will be called upon to handle the consequences. An effective public health care system with strong disease surveillance, rapid epidemiological and laboratory investigation, efficient medical management, information, education, and communication (IEC) will be required to counter any act of covert or overt bioterrorist attack.

In India there has been no documented case of bioterrorism so far. For this very reason, we need to know and learn about this form of terror before it becomes a formidable challenge to our public health system and the society


Vernellia R. Randall
Founder and Editor
Professor Emerita of Law
The University of Dayton School of Law