Managerial and Organizational Challenges
New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 5: Psycho-social Impacts of Bioterrorism and Stress in the Wake of 9/11
Ross H. Pastel* INTRODUCTION Biological warfare (BW) and bioterrorism (BT) use microorganisms (bacteria or viruses) or toxins (products of living organisms) to induce death and disease. Ultimately, bioterrorism would be used to attack a society by inducing fear and vulnerability in the public. The public perception of bioterrorism changed dramatically in October 2001, following the recognition of casualties, including deaths, due to anthrax in the US mail (CDC, 2001). Mother Nature has also terrorized humans with infectious disease outbreaks, including three plague pandemics (for example, the infamous Black Death during the Middle Ages), the 1918 Spanish inﬂuenza pandemic, numerous smallpox epidemics throughout the world, several Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreaks in Africa, and, most recently, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which emerged from China in 2002 and rapidly spread around the world in a matter of weeks. Currently, many people are concerned (or even fearful), that a new inﬂuenza pandemic (perhaps involving avian inﬂuenza) may strike the world. Although terrorism has been around for ages, the recognition of the psycho-social impact of terrorism has been more recent. In 1995, the world was shocked by two major terrorist attacks – the Aum Shinrikyo sarin attack in the Tokyo subway system and the large truck bomb attack of two home-grown American terrorists, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, on the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Since then, Al Qaeda has been responsible for two embassy attacks in Africa, the infamous September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City and Washington,...
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