Scientists fear terrorists could use PLAGUE to kill millions...
Scientists race to develop vaccine for the PLAGUE amid fears terrorists could use the Medieval disease to kill millions.
LEADING scientists are frantically working to develop a vaccine for the PLAGUE amid fears terrorists could kill millions if they weaponized the deadly bacteria.
The Medieval disease famously wiped out one third of Europe’s population in the 13th and 14th centuries in one of the most devastating pandemics in human history now known as the Black Death.
PLAGUE AS A BIOLOGICAL WEAPON, Today the disease, which has a 90 to 100 per cent mortality rate, has been classed by the World Health Organisation as a “re-emerging human pathogen”.
Bubonic plague is the most commonly recognised strain of the disease – but the pneumonic variant is much more virulent, and unlike bubonic, is spread via airborne particles.
“If terrorists use those organisms – they could utilise the bacteria. It could lead to mass deaths in a very short period of time. It would spread very, very quickly.
“Think about the bubonic plague in Europe in the 13th, 14th century. One third of the population was wiped out because of infection. That’s the typical scenario that you should think of.
“At the time it started with the bubonic plague and then it went to the pneumonic plague and one third of the population died so the consequences could be enormous.”
His team’s lab research had so far shown promising results on rats – they were successfully vaccinated for five months against the disease.
The Department of Defence has also taken interest in his work and he hopes to receive additional government funding to begin testing on primates.