The degree of fever varies with the individual,
Vomiting Agent Symptoms
depending on his or her resistance, but it does serve as
Exposure to vomiting agents is followed soon by a
a rough guide to the severity of infection. Often the fever
is preceded by a violent chill. Whether the chill occurs
pepperlike burning of the eyes, nose, throat, and air
passages. The burning sensation is accompanied by a
or not, the fever is usually one of the earliest symptoms.
flow of tears and by repeated coughing and sneezing.
Malaise is a feeling of bodily discomfort and
These symptoms increase in severity for several
weakness. There may be nausea, dizziness, loss of
minutes, even after the victim dons a mask. The victim
appetite, and general aches and pains.
becomes sick to the point of vomiting. When the mask
Inflammation is caused by the reaction of body
is removed, the victim is then exposed to even more
tissues combating and sealing off an infection. In almost
every case, there is pain, redness, and swelling. Some
types of infection result in a characteristic rash, making
Tear Agent Symptoms
it possible for the doctor to make an early diagnosis.
Tear agents (also called riot control agents) are local
irritants which, in low concentration, act primarily on
the eyes, causing intense pain and a considerable flow
of tears, stinging of moist, warm skin, and irritation of
The first symptoms of exposure to nuclear radiation
the nose. High concentrations affect the upper
are nausea and vomiting. Later (2 weeks or more)
respiratory tract and lungs and cause nausea and
symptoms are diarrhea, loss of hair, loss of weight, sore
vomiting. The agents may be either solids or liquids and
throat, and skin hemorrhage. Death rates depend on the
may be dispersed as vapors or smokes. The newest
amount of the dose and the general physical condition
agent, CS, is the most effective, causing incapacitation
of the victim. Unless a very heavy dose is received,
20 to 60 seconds after exposure. Recovery can be
ultimate recovery can be expected in most instances.
expected 5 to 10 minutes after the victim is breathing
SEABEE CBR DEFENSE
Incapacitating Agent Symptoms
The battalion commander is responsible for
Incapacitating agents can cause mental symptoms
planning the overall CBR defensive measures for a
and may also produce physical symptoms, such as
Seabee's encampment. The battalion commander then
staggering gait, dizziness, and blurred vision. Some of
presents to the battalion those requirements for defense
these agents cause fainting spells, and others cause
measures that should be provided by other forces.
severe muscle weakness. The mental symptoms often
Protective measures used against other weapons
resemble alcoholic drunkenness; for example,
give only partial protection against CBR attacks.
individuals may act silly, giggle, or become angry and
Provisions must be made for CBR defense, such as the
belligerent similar to a "fighting drunk." Sometimes
incapacitating agents can cause hallucinations. (Like
alcoholic "DTs," victims may imagine that they see
snakes or enemy soldiers, or they may imagine that
colors have changed.) Many of these incapacitating
gases prevent sleep. Some people may stay wide awake
for 4 days and be mentally confused for the whole
Training and indoctrination of personnel.
period. These agents do not kill, but they can make a
man unfit for duty. Many of them do not produce effects
Warning, reporting, detection, and identification
until several hours after inhalation. These effects can last
of CBR agents and hazards.
from 8 hours to 4 days.
Individual and collective protection.
Decontamination of personnel, equipment,
supplies, and terrain, when directed.
In the early stages of any biological disease, the
Plans for handling mass casualties, to include
medical operations and first aid.
general symptoms are fever, malaise, and inflammation.