We've talked about it for months. I even heard people saying this on the Don Imus show in October for goodness sake.
Heck, back during the Gulf war Art Bell had some guy on that brought up this scenario. He said it would be very easy to infect someone willingly or not, say a lady and a child, and send them cris-crossing the world on a plane when they are at their most likely to infect others. Multiply those two people by 50 and you could have real problems. The guest brought it up because Saddam was threatening the US and the west in general at the time.
Anyhow, someone with a devious mind and spare time on their hands along with a free pack of matches from the drug store could tie you in knots too if they did it right.
As for plague, it must be remembered that plague is contracted fairly frequently in the United States, and has not produced a major epedemic.
Smallpox is another matter altogether, although there is the distinct possibility that much of the population still has a certain degree of immunity from past vaccinations, and the government is already preparing to vaccinate everyone.
This is a true story, Freepers!
If you become absolutely convinced that your God has asked you to make the ultimate sacrifice (or to ask others to do so) because of how screwed up the world has become, and that by performing this holy duty it will help to set the world right again (by taking out a bunch of "evil-doers"), what else are you going to do?
Seems to me that Bush (and the rest of us Americans) believes the same, except for the suicide part. And here I thought we believed in that romantic "Man of La Mancha" stuff:
... To be willing to die so that honor and justice may live...
Er, no, not really. Pockets of dengue pops up from time time--including on the mainland (she may want to check out how many foreign plants, animals & other critters have migrated to Hawaii--& that'd include mosquitoes). I caught dengue either in Villahermosa or in & around Palenque/Agua Azul in Mexico. Is it a nice disease? No. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy (okay, there are a few, but I'm too polite to mention who they are). As usual, the very young, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are vulnerable. Can someone recover from it? Of course--otherwise I wouldn't be writing this with dengue antibodies in my blood.
Just like inhalation anthrax, people who begin exhibiting symptoms of pneumonic plague have a very poor prognosis, even with vigorous treatment. It's thought that the prognosis for survival is much worse than inhalation anthrax. Most of the information I've found states that the mortality rate is 100% if not treated within the first 24 hours. Pneumonic plague is highly transmissible person-to-person and can spread quite rapidly thoughout a population. It is spread by uncontrollable coughing, which serves to spread the bacillus in tiny sputum droplets through the air. When plague bacillus is inhaled into the lungs through bioterrorism, it becomes systemic and affects the lungs and other vital body organs. Pneumonic plague symptoms include cough, bloody sputum, chest pain and difficulty breathing. It has an incubation period of 1-7 days.
All in all, inhalation anthrax is a cakewalk compared to what pneumonic plague would be. We're talking about 3 to 4 weeks of strict quarantine after a person is diagnosed. If nothing else, it would be a nightmare in terms of our public health care systems' ability to respond to any outbreak that would occur.
The good news is that since the symptoms are very similar to inhalation anthrax, physicians and nurses are now much more likely to become suspicious of anything that resembles anthrax. Hopefully, our frontline medical workers would spot the disease early enough to stop the death rate from becoming very high. Like the anthrax, people who've been exposed can begin prompt prophylactic treatment with antibiotics (Streptomycin, if I remember correctly.)