This is a story of unconnected dots.
On October 17 2013, a strain of polio endemic to Pakistan first appeared in Deir al-Zor province, Syria. This virus presumably hitched a ride on a ne’er-do-well from Balochistan who thought supporting the Nusra Front would be a good use of his time and likely had no idea he was infected.
On February 12, the U.S. Department of State launched a new Global Heath Security Agenda. The highlight Secretary Kerry’s op-ed on the launch? The 2003 outbreak of SARS, hyped scourge of Asia, with 8,000 known infections and 775 known deaths. The famed Anthrax attacks of 2001, with 17 infections and five deaths, also made an appearance.
On March 11, an infant in Lebanon presented with paralysis. Unlike Jordan, Lebanon has refrained from establishing formal camps for its refugees in an effort to deter permanent residence — a lesson, perhaps, learned from the influx of Palestinians half a century ago. Continue reading “Bioterrorism is already here. It just doesn’t look like we expected.”