Medical Aspects of Biological Warfare

Article excerpt

MEDICAL ASPECTS OF BIOLOGICAL WARFARE, Zygmunt Dembek Sr., ed., Office of the Surgeon General, Borden Institute-Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, 2007, 675 pages, $72.00. Also available on CD-ROM and printable PDF, see www.bordeninstitute.army.mil for details.

Medical Aspects of Biological Warfare is an authoritative and current version of Medical Aspects of Chemical and Biological Warfare: Textbook of Military Medicine, Part I: Warfare, Weaponry, and the Casualty (Office of the Surgeon General Department of the Army, 1997).

The new edition is a single-source compendium focused primarily on important biological agents that have significant potential to be used in war or by terrorists. The book contains chapters on characteristics of critical biological agents to include their induced illnesses, diagnosis, treatments, and vaccine status. It also contains chapters dedicated to doctrine and policy.

All DOD medical personnel should have a working knowledge of biological warfare and many would argue that all service members should also have some familiarity. Since the original version was published, this mission has become critically important as evidenced by the upsurge of bioterrorism incidents, significantly increased federal funding, and expansion of the research program into non-DOD laboratories. One need only consider the impact of the 2001 anthrax letters to reinforce this.

The book is organized in a similar format to the original version but with greatly expanded information that captures recent advances in biomedical knowledge. …