Intended for healthcare professionals


World Health Assembly votes not to destroy smallpox virus

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 26 May 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1230
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

    The world's two remaining stocks of smallpox virus, kept in Russia and in the United States, should not be destroyed just yet, the World Health Assembly decided last week at its meeting in Geneva. Scientists may be allowed to genetically manipulate fragments of the virus to evaluate new drugs and treatments.

    Smallpox was eradicated 25 years ago. Because vaccination stopped, many people lack immunity to the virus. Smallpox kills about …

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