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What do we really know about the history of biological weapons use?

New Rochelle, NY, September 1, 2015–Few comprehensive, definitive histories of biological warfare have been written, many events reported in the literature never happened, and few details are available about some uses of biological weapons that most certainly did occur. A review of the literature on actual and alleged instances of biological warfare finds that the incidence of illicit biological agent use has been greater than many people may realize, even as the effects have been relatively limited, as described in an article published in Health Security, a peer-reviewed journal from by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Health Security website until October 1, 2015.

Health Security

Health Security (formerly Biosecurity and Bioterrorism) is the essential peer-reviewed journal providing critical research and guidance for the protection of people’s health before and after epidemics or disasters. Credit: ©Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

In “The History of Biological Weapons Use: What We Know and What We Don’t,” W. Seth Carus, PhD, National Defense University, Ft. McNair, Washington, DC, provides a historical perspective of biological weapons development and alleged use from the earliest primitive uses through germ theory, advances in science and technology, and major wars. Dr. Carus reviews the main gaps in current knowledge and the implications of false allegations.

“In this article, Dr. Carus delivers a superb and authoritative history of mankind’s biological weapons use,” says Editor-in-Chief Thomas V. Inglesby, MD, CEO and Director, UPMC Center for Health Security, Baltimore, MD. “As we think about how to prevent biological weapons use in the future, it is critical to understand their role in the past, and this article provides a comprehensive view of that past. Dr. Carus also points out how much we don’t know and prescribes the research agenda that would help us answer important questions.”

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About the Journal

Health Security (formerly Biosecurity and Bioterrorism) is the essential peer-reviewed journal providing critical research and guidance for the protection of people’s health before and after epidemics or disasters. Published bimonthly online with open access options and in print, the Journal explores the issues posed by disease outbreaks and epidemics; natural disasters; biological, chemical, and nuclear accidents or deliberate threats; foodborne outbreaks; and other health emergencies. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Health Security website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, and Microbial Drug Resistance. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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