Bioterrorism

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I had no idea until taking this pharmacology class taught by Dr. Johnson how easy bioterrorism could be. It is frightening to consider the possibility of some sick mind infecting millions with ricin or anthrax. It would appear that diagnosis would be difficult, at least initially, with the first couple of cases. The symptoms of coughing, tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, nausea, fever, and weakness mimic many other common illnesses such as flu, pneumonia, and many other respiratory illnesses. In smaller community hospitals I would believe that bioterrorism is not the first thought when a patient presents with these symptoms. The key would have to be the volume of patients presenting with like symptoms. It is a very scary thought as to the ease with which these weapons could be obtained and I hope that we are ready if/when such an attack should occur.

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