Crimean Congo Virus in Iraq
It was most worrying when David Kay reported that the former Iraqi government was working on the CCHF virus. The virus causes Haemorrhagic disease similar to Ebola and Marburg and carries 30-70% mortality if untreated.
It is not surprising that Saddam and his 'beloved' scientists did explore this harmful virus. It is endemic from Congo to Crimea and all the way to the far east. This can give an explanation why this unlikely, but dangerous, virus was explored.
Fortunately this endevour was unlikely to be successful. There has never been an viral biological act of terrorism or warefare that has been confirmed. American scientists did cover this topic:
"Several viruses that can cause VHF will not be considered further in this analysis. Dengue is excluded because it is not transmissible by small-particle aerosol,7 and primary dengue causes VHF only rarely. Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) and the agents of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) also have been excluded after much deliberation. Although these pathogens can cause VHF and may be transmissible by small-particle aerosol, the working group noted that technical difficulties (ie, barriers to large-scale production) currently preclude their development as mass casualty weapons. Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever and the agents of HFRS do not readily replicate to high concentrations in cell cultures, a prerequisite for weaponization of an infectious organism. However, CCHF, the agents of HFRS, and dengue may carry great morbidity and mortality in naturally occurring outbreaks. In particular, CCHF may be transmitted from person to person, has a high case-fatality rate, and is endemic in central Asia and southern Africa. We acknowledge that technical difficulties may be overcome with advances in technology and science, and these excluded viruses may become a greater threat in the future. Other sources provide information on the viruses not addressed herein"
Ok, we will live to see another day. This is most fortunate since we have many wines and other topics of interest to explore.