Two more people poisoned by deadly nerve agent Novichok

A British man and woman were poisoned by the same nerve agent, Novichok, as the Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal.

    2018/07/06

NSFW    SALISBURY, UK — Two more people have become victims of the Russian nerve agent that affected a former Russian spy and his daughter, reports the BBC.

Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess were found unconscious in Salisbury in southwest England where they were poisoned by the same nerve agent, Novichok, as the Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal.


Rowley and Sturgess were in Salisbury were taken to the hospital when Sturgess collapsed and was found "foaming at the mouth" and Rowley fell ill and was found with eyes "wide open" and he was "sweating … and making weird noises," reports the BBC.

According to the BBC, Novichok nerve agent is five to eight times more toxic than the VX nerve agent.

Novichok nerve agents may exist as liquids, in solid form or as an ultra-fine powder.

Novichok works by inhibiting an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase, which is involved in muscle movement, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Motor neurons release a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which signals muscles to contract.

Acetylcholinesterase removes the neurotransmitter, relaxing the muscle.

Novichok prevents acetylcholinesterase from relaxing the muscle, resulting in muscles contracting involuntarily and no longer functioning normally.

The effects are wide-ranging, but the most critical are the effects on lung and heart function. These include respiratory paralysis and cardiac arrest, according to a Reuters report.

If one is exposed to the nerve agent, they should immediately remove their clothes, rinse their eyes, and wash the exposed skin with water and soap, reports the BBC.
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