c. Measures Taken After Attack.
The defensive measures taken after an attack are designed to prevent
water. Personnel and equipment must be decontaminated when the situation
Personnel should decontaminate themselves by taking a shower
with hot, soapy water when it is available. In the absence of hot water
or soap, physical removal of contamination can be achieved to some extent
by rinsing in water. Washing with water removes about 90 percent of the
microorganisms present on the skin. Soap and warm water removes about 99
percent of the microorganisms present on the skin. Cuts and other wounds
should be treated as soon as possible with antiseptics. Food that has
been stored in sealed containers, cartons, and cans can be made safe for
consumption by decontaminating the outer container.
Water poses a
special problem for decontamination. Containerized water supplies such
as canteens, Lister bags, or bladders can be considered uncontaminated if
the outside surface is washed before opening.
The only supply of
adequately decontaminated water is from the Engineer Water Purification
This piece of equipment is designed to remove even biological
spores from contaminated water sources.
All water supplies that were
exposed during a biological attack should be discarded and replenished
with water supplied by a water purification unit.
In the event that
water absolutely must be taken from a known or suspected contaminated
source and a water purification unit is not available, the water should
be boiled for as long as possible, at least 15 minutes, and water
purification tablets added. The unit medic or surgeon should be notified
of the situation as soon as possible so that therapeutic measures can be
taken. Some therapeutic measures are:
Once the agent used in a biological attack has been identified, a plan of
action in treatment can be initiated. A plan might include the use of
antimicrobial drugs for prophylaxis and/or therapy, supportive care, and
The practice of using antimicrobial or antibiotic drugs, such as
penicillin, tetracycline, or others, in an effort to prevent the
initiation of an infection or to suppress certain infections during the
incubation period, is called chemoprophylaxis. The use of quinine for
malaria is the best example.
It demands specific knowledge of the
causative agent to know which antimicrobial drug to use, and how and when
to administer it.