Re: Gas Mask recommendations? (Was Re: Biowar link)

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Thu Oct 04 2001 - 12:00:33 MDT

James Rogers wrote:
> On 10/4/01 8:34 AM, "Mike Lorrey" <> wrote:
> >
> > NOTE: Smallpox is an amazingly HUGE virus. Do not expect other viral
> > attacks (anthrax, hanta, etc) to be stopped by this filter, though it
> > should be able to deal with bacterial attacks like botulin, bubonic,
> > etc.
> Anthrax is bacterial, not viral.

Wasn't sure, and I've been hearing so much media yapping both ways...

Anyways, it's good to know that its bacterial.

In any event, my main point holds, that smallpox is one of the largest
viruses, so big that simple optical microscopes can see it, so just
because your mask can block it out doesn't mean it can necessarily get
smaller viral agents.

> > While anthrax can be treated with a vaccine (as can smallpox, of
> > course), hanta has no vaccine at this point, so far as I know. Anybody
> > know different?
> Hanta has no vaccine that I'm aware of. However, even in regions where it
> thrives, it is a pretty rare type of infection.

So few people make it a practice of getting close to large quantities of
rat excrement.

> > Hanta can be spread by the spraying of dried dust of the excrement of
> > infected rodents. Don't know if you must ingest the dust itself.
> I expect that the exposure levels have to be quite high before Hanta takes.
> Like anthrax, it is endemic to certain areas and people are almost certainly
> exposed to it regularly, yet it only rarely infects people.

Well, it's shown up in very diverse areas, even up here in Vermont and
New Hampshire, where it has infected several people. There is also no
reason why it can't be 'weaponized' like any other bioagent into a more
virulent form. The difficulty is in getting it to the point where it is
easily transmitted between humans. It is the human to human
communicability that really makes a bio agent scary. Ebola, for example,
is a very scary virus. Ditto Hong Kong Avian Flu, as well as several
developed in the Soviet labs which we are pretty sure have made it out
to the wild at one time or another.

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