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Following several biohazard epidemics, the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2001 anthrax attacks in the US, a critical infrastructure biodefense program will be established at the US Department of Homeland Security as “biological events could destroy, incapacitate, and disrupt critical infrastructure and prevent our society from both functioning properly and protecting itself,” states a report by hstoday.com.
According to the report by hstoday.com, sectors adversely impacted by the 2001 anthrax incident included commercial facilities, emergency services, critical manufacturing, energy, the defense industrial base, transportation, government facilities, healthcare, and even the chemical sector as demand for antibiotics Ciprofloxacin and Doxycycline skyrocketed.“ The damage to critical infrastructure sectors comes not just from the risk of reduced manpower as employees fall ill or die in large-scale biological events. “The malfunctioning of some sectors could exacerbate the impact of a biological event. For example, the physical compromise of Dams Sector water retention facilities could result in standing water that attracts mosquitoes and other vectors of disease,” the report states. Data compromises could spread disinformation about biological events or even delay the identification of organisms and hamper the ability of these sectors to track the spread of disease.
And the critical infrastructure sectors are considered targets for biological attacks, “but some are more attractive than others,” the report notes, citing high-profile events such as the Super Bowl, institutions such as Congress, or transportation systems such as subways. “Influenza virus can survive on banknotes, which suggests that other organisms, including some biological agents, could use the Financial Services Sector to spread disease intentionally,” the report adds. “A significant biological event would result in the stock market dropping dramatically in a very short period of time, greatly affecting the Financial Services Sector as well as the national and global economies. A biological attack on agriculture (including food) would create shortages in the Food and Agriculture Sector.”
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