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Biowarfare : Another "Sverdlosk Incident" in Russia ?
The Morning Paper-Special Edition | 08/25/05 | vanity

Posted on 08/25/2005 9:28:24 AM PDT by genefromjersey

Biowarfare : Another “Sverdlosk Incident” in Russia ?

I’ve been looking at two recent (and ongoing) outbreaks of Tularemia in Russia: (Source: ProMed : Archives # 20050824.2503; # 20050822.2467; # 20050718.2066 )

1. 96 people –66 from Dzerzhinsk region; 30 from Nizhniy Novogorod.

2. 56 people – all from the Ryazan area , which borders on Nizhniy Novogorod and Vladimir.

What makes it notable is that Tularemia is a fairly rare disease: the Ryazan area had only 4 known cases in 2004.

(No historic stats were furnished on the Nizhniy Novgoros area or Dzerzhinsk , but the number of cases seems “out of line”.)

The other factor that makes these two outbreaks notable is the presence of Biowarfare facilities in the region – especially in the Nizhniy Novogorod area. (Source: Global Security)

Chapayvevsk – in Nizhniy Novogorod , is decribed as an “Inactive bioweapons destruction facility”.

Gorokhovets – in Vladimir Oblast , is a bioweapons storage facility.

Dzerhinsk – in Nizhniy Novogorod is a facility used for the production of chemical weapons – notably Lewisite.

Ryazan – is , among other things, the home of a patrooper training facility,and was the scene of recent military manuevers.

Tentative Conclusions:

1. Russia is still involved in bioweapons research-including the use of Tularemia (with which they have experimented for 3 generations). (Ken Alibek would probably agree.)

2. Some sort of accidental release of weaponized Tularemia may have occurred.

3. The possibility of theft/sabotage/terrorism should be considered.


TOPICS: Anthrax Scare; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 2005; 200508; biowarfare; bioweapons; cause; facilities; outbreak; rabbitfever; russia; smallpox; sverdlosk; tularemia; vector; wmd

1 posted on 08/25/2005 9:28:26 AM PDT by genefromjersey
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To: genefromjersey

Or hungry people eating more diseased rabbits?


2 posted on 08/25/2005 9:30:43 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim (Now that taglines are cool, I refuse to have one.)
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To: genefromjersey
Tularemia
3 posted on 08/25/2005 9:33:15 AM PDT by xcamel (Deep Red, stuck in a "bleu" state.)
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To: genefromjersey; David Hunter; Jim Noble

If they're experimenting with Tularemia, it wouldn't surprise me if they were also working with smallpox.


4 posted on 08/25/2005 9:33:28 AM PDT by Paleo Conservative (France is an example of retrograde chordate evolution.)
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To: genefromjersey

96 seems like a lot to me, although this is the season for maximum exposure to rabbits. If it's respiratory, then it's more likely it's weaponized; if it's subcutaneous, then probably it's the usual route of handling infected beasties. The stuff is incredibly contagious - threshold dose is 10-50 cells.


5 posted on 08/25/2005 9:36:11 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Tijeras_Slim

Rabbits. Vets always caution about the rabbits. That was my first thought.


6 posted on 08/25/2005 9:36:12 AM PDT by PeteB570
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To: Paleo Conservative
If they're experimenting with Tularemia, it wouldn't surprise me if they were also working with smallpox

Can you elaborate on the connection between Tularemia and smallpox?

Or is do you assume that if they are working with one they are working with the other?

Thanks.

7 posted on 08/25/2005 9:38:10 AM PDT by Bear_Slayer (Montani semper liberi !)
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To: vetvetdoug

pinging the expert.


8 posted on 08/25/2005 9:46:09 AM PDT by razorback-bert
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To: Cindy; MamaDearest; Velveeta; Oorang

One for the TM.

I ping you four because I can remember how to spell your screen names!


9 posted on 08/25/2005 9:50:04 AM PDT by little jeremiah (A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, are incompatible with freedom. P. Henry)
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To: genefromjersey

what's the weather been like in that region, and has the predatation dropped...


10 posted on 08/25/2005 9:53:23 AM PDT by MD_Willington_1976
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To: Bear_Slayer
Or is do you assume that if they are working with one they are working with the other?

Prior to the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Russians had a massive smallpox bioweapons program. They had about 20 tons of smallpox virus stockpiled. This was not ordinary smallpox either. It was developed from particularly nasty strains isolated by the Russians during their participation in the program to eradicate smallpox. They even developed and tested special refrigerated ICBM warheads to deliver smallpox in case of a nuclear war which would weaken peoples' immune systems.

There are some books you should read.

This one was published on September 2, 2001.


11 posted on 08/25/2005 9:55:26 AM PDT by Paleo Conservative (France is an example of retrograde chordate evolution.)
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To: genefromjersey
Definitely a pathogen of concern in bioweapons.

Great post, what Free Republic is about.

12 posted on 08/25/2005 10:02:26 AM PDT by tallhappy (Juntos Podemos!)
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To: genefromjersey

Abilek said the Soviets used tularemia on the Germans in World War Two, but that it backfired on the Soviets and hit them too. His deducing this from old records while a medical student purportedly led to the offer to join the Soviet biological weapons program, which he accepted.


13 posted on 08/25/2005 10:30:01 AM PDT by Thud
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To: genefromjersey
The western edge of the H5N1 migration is in the same area as well. Map below:


14 posted on 08/25/2005 11:03:04 AM PDT by datura (Molon Labe)
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To: razorback-bert
This doesn't have to be a weaponized version of Tularemia. Water contamination of F. tularensis is my bet. I would have to see the number of cases at one time frame to consider a bioweapon incident. If the cases are strung out, I would be a food borne source, especially water. Seasonal incidence would also have to be a factor. Weather has an impact upon the frequency of disease.

What would perk up my interest if there were hundreds of cases within a week which would make a bioweapon incident highly suspect. Currently the numbers of cases are within the realm of a bad year for those susceptible for Tularemia.

15 posted on 08/25/2005 11:24:04 AM PDT by vetvetdoug (Shiloh, Corinth, Iuka, Brices Crossroads, Harrisburg, Britton Lane, Holly Springs, Hatchie Bridge,)
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To: vetvetdoug

In 1971, a airborne variant of smallpox was tested by the Russians on an island in the middle of the Aral Sea. Unbeknownst to the bio-weapons testers, a fishing boat strayed into the area and the virus infected a person on the boat which was at least 5 miles from the island.

If you remember in the spring and summer of 2002, every industrialized country on the planet scrambled to buy enough smallpox vaccine to cover its entire population despite the fact that the virus was eliminated from nature 25 years earlier. Apparently, in the lead-up to the Iraq war, Putin told Bush that the Russians had given this Aral Sea variant of smallpox to Saddam.

http://cns.miis.edu/pubs/week/020619.htm


16 posted on 08/25/2005 11:45:12 AM PDT by JustDoItAlways
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To: little jeremiah
Thanks for the pings lj.

Here's some Ken Alibek/Tularemia info:

Ken Alibek, former Russian scientist and Deputy Chief of the Soviet Bioweapons facility, said that the infectivity and speed of the disease were key reasons for why it was chosen as a bioweapon. Tularemia was “considered an ideal weapon for battlefield due to the speed with which it could overwhelm an opponent’s medical resources, leaving hospitals and physicians unable to cope with a flood of patients in need of constant treatment.”
http://dpalm.med.uth.tmc.edu/courses/BT2003/BTstudents2003_files%5CTularemia2003.htm

"The truth is that the Omutninsk facility was a reserve biological weapons production facility that could produce tularemia, plague, and glanders biological weapons in time of war."
http://www.bu.edu/iscip/vol9/Alibek.html

This is an excerpt from Richard Preston's "Demon in the Freezer":

Like any weapon, a biological weapon can be released accidentally, but when a biological accident happens, the consequences can be particularly insidious. I talked about this with Ken Alibek that day in Bill Patrick's kitchen, while we drank whiskey in the soft light of a winter afternoon.

Alibek spoke about how bioweapons have a disturbing tendency to invade nonhuman populations of living creatures -- thus finding a new niche in the ecosystems of the earth, apart from the human species. When he was the acting director of the biowarfare facility at Omutninsk, his safety officers discovered that wild rodents living in the woods outside the factory had become chronically infected with the Schu-4 military strain of tularemia -- a bacterium that causes a type of pneumonia -- which was being made in the plant.

It was a hot, lethal strain that came from the United States: an American biological weapon that the Soviets had managed to obtain during the nineteen-fifties. Now, unexpectedly, the wild rodents were spreading Schu-4 among themselves in the forests around Omutninsk. The rodents were not the natural host of tularemia, but it had apparently established itself in them as new hosts. People catch tularemia easily from rodents, and it can be fatal. Alibek mounted an investigation and found that a pipe running through a basement area had a small leak and was dripping a suspension of tularemia cells into the ground. The rodents may have come in contact with the contaminated soil in that one spot.

The staff tried to sterilize the forest of rodents near the plant. That didn't work, because rodents are impossible to eradicate. "We could not get rid of the rodents. We tried everything," Alibek said. "Nobody knows today, but we can assume that the tularemia is still there in the rodents." Nobody knows if anyone has died of the American-Russian tularemia around the Kirov region.

Sunlight kills a bioweapon. That is, a bioweapon biodegrades in sunlight. It has a "half-life," like nuclear radiation. This is known as the decay time of the bioweapon. Anthrax has a long decay time -- it has a tough spore. Tularemia has a decay time of only a few minutes in sunlight. Therefore, tularemia should always be released at night.

http://cryptome.org/bioweap.htm

17 posted on 08/25/2005 12:07:51 PM PDT by Oorang ( A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage. -Goethe)
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To: little jeremiah; nw_arizona_granny; Calpernia

Thanks for the ping.
We discussed tularemia way back when looking at 'dog diseases'.


18 posted on 08/25/2005 12:24:10 PM PDT by Velveeta
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To: Billthedrill

Bill, it's 96 + 56 = 152 cases in 2 contiguous areas: a bit much for "wabbit hunting" !


19 posted on 08/25/2005 12:29:05 PM PDT by genefromjersey (So much to flame;so little time !)
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To: KylaStarr; Cindy; StillProud2BeFree; nw_arizona_granny; Velveeta; Dolphy; appalachian_dweller; ...

ping


20 posted on 08/25/2005 12:59:57 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Calpernia; Velveeta

Bump........

Dog disease.
and the new Parvovirus that is now a human disease.

I posted a report on it in post 3206 of T.M. it is known as the Bocavirus.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1458402/posts?q=1&&page=3201


21 posted on 08/25/2005 3:09:52 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (WAKE UP AMERICA!!! You have enemies, within and without, they are communist based.)
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To: genefromjersey

Bush's fault.


22 posted on 08/25/2005 3:16:23 PM PDT by Jackknife (No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.-MacArthur)
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To: Paleo Conservative

About a year and a half ago,one of the Vector scientists died after accidentally injecting herself with Ebola - a nasty way to go !

A few years earlier,one of their doctors did the same thing with Marburg. When he died, they saved his blood,after discovering Marburg gets more lethal after it passes through a living person. They used that blood to make up a more deadly batch ...


23 posted on 08/25/2005 3:49:21 PM PDT by genefromjersey (So much to flame;so little time !)
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