Recent events and observations pertaining to smallpox virus destruction in 2002

Donald A. Henderson, Frank Fenner, Thomas Inglesby, Tara OToole

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

To destroy all remaining stocks of variola virus on or before 31 December 2002 seems an even more compelling goal today than it did in 1999, when the 52d World Health Assembly authorized temporary retention of remaining stocks to facilitate the possible development of (1) a more attenuated, less reactogenic smallpox vaccine and (2) an antiviral drug that could be used in treatment of patients with smallpox. We believe the deadline established in 1999 should be adhered to, given the potential outcomes of present research. Although verification that every country will have destroyed its stock of virus is impossible, it is reasonable to assume that the risk of a smallpox virus release would be diminished were the World Health Assembly to call on each country to destroy its stocks of smallpox virus and to state that any person, laboratory, or country found to have virus after date x would be guilty of a crime against humanity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1057-1059
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume33
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2001

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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