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Lessons learned from 2001–2021 – from the bioterrorism to the pandemic era
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1st Clinical Military Hospital with Outpatient Clinic, Lublin, Poland
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistic, Medical University, Warsaw, Poland
Biological Threats Identification and Countermeasurs Centre of the Military Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Puławy, Poland
Corresponding author
Aleksander Michalski   

1st Clinical Military Hospital with Outpatient Clinic, Racławickei 23, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2022;29(1):1-11
Introduction and objective:
The aim of the study was to analyze available literature on the development of biological warfare and combating the SARS CoV-2 pandemic. Against the background of contemporary threats from biological factors, the strengths and weaknesses of response in the event of a bioterrorist attack during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have been identified. The scope and importance of international cooperation in the fight against the pandemic is assessed.

Review methods:
The more important literature on bioterrorism, biological weapons and the COVID-19 pandemic, both from earlier work and recent publications, was analyzed, emphasizing new threats and adequate defence against them.

Brief description of the state of knowledge:
The bio-warfare threat and the current COVID 19 pandemic that has hit mankind on a global scale has clearly shown how dangerous biological agents are and what effects they can cause, negatively affecting every sphere of human activity with catastrophic consequences. Data on examples of bioterrorist attacks carried out and research on the development of biological weapons and methods of combating pandemic COVID-19, were reviewed. New threats related to technological development,including those resulting from genetic manipulation, biosynthesis, and modern means of delivery, are pointed out. Attention has been paid to the implications of controlling the proliferation of biological weapons and the issues of international cooperation in the fight against bioterrorism and the COVD-19 pandemic.

The lesson learned clearly demonstrates the weakness of states in responding to such threats. The risks of uncontrolled scientific advances are still underestimated. Appropriate international control measures must be taken urgently to prepare for new pandemics, bioterrorist attacks, and the possibility of using modern biological weapons.

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