Mass media the only thing that is more frightful than biological terrorism

Biological terrorist attacks on the US are being continued. Today, anthrax spores were found in diplomatic mail of the US consulate general to the Yekaterinburg, Ural region. At the same time, the Western mass media fans passions by saying that terrorists might use biological weapons. They seem to follow the following principle: the worse, the better. Yesterday, the director general of Vector State Centre of Virology and Bio-technology, Academician Lev Sandakhchiev, while participating in round table sitting “Scientists against Biological Weapon”, argued about the possible consequences of using the smallpox virus as abiological weapon. Namely in Sandakhchiev’s center, one of the two natural smallpox’s culture remaining in the world is being kept, the second is kept in the US at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. Lev Sandakhchiev made an unfavorable conclusion: smallpox bacilli are most dangerous as a weapon of mass destruction. According to the academician, if this weapon is used for diversionary aims, there is a danger of a mass epidemic. Already for 20 years, people have not been not treated for smallpox. Over these years, not one case of smallpox has been noticed, while earlier, 2 million people died of smallpox yearly. At the same time, now there is no effective controlling system of biological weapons, Sandakhchiev said. One of the preventive measures, the academician supposes, is the return to the vaccination against natural smallpox of people from risk groups could be, first of all of people who could be infected being on duty. Today, the British newspaper Telegraph published an article titled “Terrorists Can Use Smallpox Virus." The article contains a statement of a Russian scientist, in whose institute the death virus is being kept. As if Sandakhchiev has appealed for immediate mass vaccination of people against smallpox, because terrorists easily could receive the virus from badly paid Soviet scientists and turn it into a dangerous weapon. “Smallpox is a frightful weapon in terrorists’ hands," Sandakhchiev says in the article. "There is no need for a special transport means to deliver this weapon to the target. It would be enough if an infected fanatic arrived to a large settlement.” Therefore, taking into account today’s situation with biological terrorism, the academician is quoted by the newspaper, inoculation against smallpox must be necessarily introduced all over the world. Recently, both British and American authorities announced that they consider the danger of using smallpox virus not to be hypothetical. Though professor Harry Smith, chairman of Royal Association, the working group over biological weapon, said appealing for mass vaccination was too much, the Telegraph reassures its readers. The newspaper seems not to have seriously misinterpreted. Maybe, just added on its own hungry Soviet (why actually Soviet?) scientists selling smallpox to bin Laden’s supporters in Novosibirsk. This seems to be a cliche (there must be hungry scientists in Russia), without which the article simply could not be issued. The professor’s words were wrongly interpreted. The professor spoke about the vaccination of people from risk groups, while the correspondent mixed it up and wrote about a general vaccination all over the world. These are only details. Another point is that only hypothetical speculations of the professor are presented by the Telegraph as declaring a real menace. As if the virus has been already sold by Sandakhchiev’s colleagues or it will be sold in the nearest future for a bottle of vodka. Therefore, the world vaccination must be carried out immediately, otherwise, who knows what could happen. Each day, infected fanatics could be arriving to big cities. It could be called an exaggeration of bio-hysteria, which is now, according to specialists, even more dangerous than bio-terrorism itself.

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