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Trends Microbiol. 2001 Jan;9(1):15-8.

The threat of smallpox and bioterrorism.

Author information

1
INSERM U411, Faculté de Médecine Necker-Enfants Malades, 156 Rue de Vaugirard, 75015 Paris, France.

Abstract

Smallpox (variola) was a devastating disease with a high case-fatality rate. Although the disease was eradicated in 1977, the remaining stocks of smallpox virus constitute one of the most dangerous threats to humanity. The smallpox virus is highly specific for humans and non-pathogenic in animals. There is no antiviral treatment and a vaccine is active only if administered in the first four days post-exposure. Smallpox virus represents a potential biological weapon that could be used by terrorists, and the destruction of stocks raises political, social, scientific and ethical issues.

PMID:
11166237
DOI:
10.1016/s0966-842x(00)01855-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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