There is always an incubation period between
DETECTION OF BW AGENTS
the time an organism enters a body and the
There are no simple and rapid methods to detect
first signs of the symptoms of an illness.
BW agents such as those used to detect chemical
and identification of a pathogen can be obtained only
by taking samples of the organisms, growing a culture
An indication of biological warfare is when
of the organisms under laboratory conditions, and then
the number of casualties reaches epidemic
subjecting the culture to a variety of biochemical and
within the first 24 hours.
Establishing definitively that a biological attack
has occurred is difficult. It is normal for a small
percentage of the crew to be ill due to the effects of
naturally occurring pathogens. Occasionally, there are
outbreaks of illness that affect a larger percentage;
COUNTERMEASURES AT SEA
however, this could also be due to natural causes. Some
developments that could indicate that a biological
Learning Objective: Recall chemical and biological
warfare agent is responsible are as follows:
at sea to include closure, washdown, weathering, and
· The number of casualties reaches epidemic
decontamination of personnel.
· The infection rate or death rate is higher than
mission of the ship can be carried out without
normally expected for the disease.
endangering the life or health of assigned personnel.
The three kinds of ship protective action used when at
· An outbreak of a disease occurs that is not
sea are closure, washdown, and weathering.
normally encountered in the area of the world in
which the ship is operating.
· Personnel working in a protected environment
The closure system protects the interior of the ship
do not contract the disease.
against the entry of aerosols and gases. Quick action on
closure is essential. It is not possible to predict the
· Outbreak of multiple diseases occurs. To
results if the ship is closed after exposure because
personnel below decks may be in even greater danger
responsible, samples collected by a biological
from agents trapped inside as a result of closure.
detection system, environmental samples
collected by repair parties, or biomedical
samples collected by medical personnel are
The CMWD system is a dry-pipe sprinkler system
that provides a moving screen of seawater over the
weather surfaces of the ship. The flowing water carries
Which of the following life forms is an
on the decks or bulkheads.
example of a disease vector?
Use of the CMWD system is a form of active
decontamination by physical removal. It is the best
active decontamination option in the three respects.
They are as follows:
1. It requires the least expenditure of manpower to