1st Edition

Understanding Biological Emergencies From Bioterrorism to Pandemics

By Paula Stamps Duston Copyright 2025
    336 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    336 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book investigates the links between the main sources of biological emergencies and presents a comprehensive policy framework that seeks to achieve the ultimate goal of biological security.

    The work offers a new interdisciplinary approach to analyse the linkages between the three main sources of biological emergencies: intentional attacks, natural zoonotic transmission, and lab accidents. In doing so, the text describes the history of using nature to create a weapon, focusing on dispersal methods.  The most important Select Agents for monitoring are described, with a special focus on anthrax and smallpox.  The case studies presented include the use of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in Iraq and the 2001 anthrax attack in the US. The policies that created the emergency preparedness system are analysed, and the current system is described in terms of their effectiveness in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The book concludes with some ideas and specific suggestions for moving from response to risk reduction and prevention.

    This book will be of much interest to students of biosecurity studies, public health, public policy, political science and international relations, and to professionals working in the fields of public health, public safety, medicine, nursing, and first responders as well as military personnel.

    Part I:  Setting The Context  

    Chapter 1 Should We Be Worried?      

    Chapter 2:  Using Nature to Build A Weapon   

    Chapter 3  Science, Society and Safety   

    Part II:  What Can We Learn From the Past?

    Chapter 4:  Scientists, Culture, and Ideology      

    Chapter 5:  From the Lab to the Battlefield—and Beyond  

    Part III:  Select Agents:  Yesterday and Today

    Chapter 6  Keeping Track of Risky Pathogens

    Chapter 7  Most Common:  Anthrax

    Chapter 8  The Most Feared:  Smallpox     

    Chapter 9  Threats From Other Select Agents

    Part IV:  Bioterrorism Comes to the U.S. 

    Chapter 10 Anthrax Spores in the US Postal System 

    Part V:  What We have -- and What We Need

    Chapter 11  New Policies Reflect Changing Risk Assessment 

    Chapter 12  From Policy to Implementation: The Biological Emergency Response System 

    Chapter 13  How Are We Doing? Dimensions of this Wicked Problem         

    Chapter 14  Solving the Puzzle:  A Comprehensive Biosecurity System


    Paula Stamps Duston was Professor Emeritus and Graduate Program Director, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts/Amherst, USA. She had 20 years’ experience of teaching and working with students, doctors, nurses, public health and public safety professionals to increase their understanding of bioterrorism and the emergency preparedness system. She was author of five single-authored books, including Analyzing Form, Function and Financing of the US Health Care System (2016). She passed away in 2024.