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Chapter 36,434

Smallpox Forgotten by Public, Remains a Concern for Public Health

A.C.Mishra

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences India, Section B, Biological Sciences 82(1): 23-29

2012


ISSN/ISBN: 0369-8211
DOI: 10.1007/s40011-011-0002-0
Accession: 036433760

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Smallpox was a dreaded disease and inflicted pain, stigma, anguish and death over the centuries. Eradication of this disease was considered as a major public health achievement for human kind in the last century. Unfortunately, the danger and risk is still haunting us because this virus is on the top in the list of bioterrorism agents. Large population of the world has no immunity as vaccination was stopped about 4 years ago. Suspected availability, long self-life and possibility of creating this virus synthetically has increased the fear for use of this virus by antisocial elements. To meet the challenge, a substantially large stockpile of vaccine is maintained by World Health Organization (WHO) and many developed countries. Series of guidelines to regulate the research for beneficial purposes are issued by WHO and the research done by authorized laboratories in USA and USSR is monitored by a special committee constituted for this purpose. These developments have brought a new challenge to global public health.

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