Science News

Why Anthrax Is Not Entirely the Weapon of Choice

Sat, 27th Oct 2001

Part of the show Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Letters containing white anthrax powder have claimedseveral lives in America, and have brought New York to a standstill as effectively as suicidal aeroplanes. But this is an epidemic of fear rather than infections because in reality anthrax is not a very effective biological weapon. The germ cannot be passed onto anyone else - it is not infectious. And, once detected, it can easily be cleared up by antibiotics. Instead of "Anthrax - licensed to kill" it's more like "Anthrax, licensed to cause a mild, non-contagious skin infection easily cleared up by a course of tablets".

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