Simulation of the use of Yersinia pestis as a Biological Weapon in Nigeria

P.H. Bamaiyi


A simulation study using the Spatiotemporal Epidemiological Modeler was carried out on the potential usage of Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague (‘black death’), as a biological weapon of terror. The study revealed widespread infections, incidences and deaths due to the infection all over Nigeria with bioweapon attacks originating from 2 Nigerian cities. Instituting an effective intervention program against the infection could save as many as 3.6 million lives within 10 days of the onset of the intervention program. Intervention programs could include social distancing policies and the use of antibiotics in addition to controlling the rodents and fleas vector population. Because of the relative ease of development of bioweapons and the desperation by terrorists to use any weapon at their disposal to achieve terror, there is an urgent need for an effective preparedness plan that can stop or limit the use of this category A bio-agent for biowarfare.

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