Reviews Book

We all fall down: could smallpox return?

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 09 February 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:370
  1. Alison Tonks, freelance medical journalist

    Smallpox 2002 — Silent Weapon, BBC2, Tuesday 5 February, 9 pm

    The world has been free from smallpox since 1980. The last outbreak occurred in 1977, it was successfully contained, and the eradication campaign passed into the history books as one of the 20th century's greatest achievements. Governments then wound down their vaccination programmes, and the human race moved on, untroubled by Variola major but also increasingly defenceless against it as the immune populations died out. Last Tuesday, a BBC broadcast dramatised what would happen if a terrorist deliberately unleashed a virulent strain of smallpox on a now virgin population.

    Smallpox 2002 — Silent Weapon is a fictional account of a smallpox pandemic in which …

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