Ft. Detrick Biological Warfare Program 1950s Maryland US Army


 

Ft. Detrick Biological Warfare Program 1950s Maryland US Army – In 1989, Ft Detrick biological diseases experts were called on by the Virginia Department of Health and Hygiene when a commercial laboratory animal holding facility in Reston, Virginia, experienced an outbreak of an Ebola virus in its primate population. The potentially devastating outbreak was quickly handled, preventing what health officials feared could have had a terrible effect on humans. Author Richard Preston chronicled in The Hot Zone the rapid and effective response by Ft. Detrick scientists and soldiers. This in turn sparked at least one major movie (Outbreak), which based its story on the basic scenario of the Ebola outbreak The US Army established its offensive Biological Warfare program at Fort Detrick in 1943. The purpose of the program was twofold: develop defensive mechanisms against biological attack and develop weapons with which the United States could respond in kind if attacked by an enemy who used biological weapons. The offensive Biological Warfare program remained at Fort Detrick until November 1969, when the United States formally renounced the use of lethal biological agents and weapons, and all other methods of biological warfare and discontinued these offensive programs. From 1943 through 1953, biological warfare research on humans was observational in that it was done after occupational exposure incidents or accidents among workers in the biowarfare facilities. These incidents provided the station hospital the unique opportunity to study the

 

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