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    BIOLOGICAL TERROR. REAL NOT IMAGINABLE THREAT

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    MOSCOW, JANUARY 28. /RIA NOVOSTI / -- Russia's chief state sanitary physician Gennadi Onischenko warns of a real threat of biological terrorism and is sceptical about medical successes gained in combating infectious diseases.

    "We have reached only a modest success in combating infections. Actually, we have won only one infectious agent, smallpox virus", Onischenko said. Main is becoming more and more vulnerable, dependent on pathogenic /infectious/ microorganisms--carrying agents of infectious diseases. The problem of opposing the biological danger is gaining in topicality, he said.

    "We must realise the global character of the biological danger in order to secure the vital activities of man, bar him from the negative effects of the biotic factors", said the Russian chief sanitary physician in the interview carried by the Thursday issue of the Russian Gazette.

    To Onischenko, the largest biological threat to man, society in general, is borne by the natural reserves of microorganisms and the unchecked release or spread of living organisms, especially genetically modified, having unknown mechanisms of impact on the surrounding world. As dangerous are the massive outbreaks of infectious diseases of natural origin, accidents and acts of subversion at facilities where pathogenic microorganisms are under study, use of microorganisms for military and terrorist ends, including acts of subversion at biologically hazardous facilities.

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