Blocking Smallpox: A Second Defense

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Science  19 Oct 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5542, pp. 500
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5542.500

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Variola, the virus that causes smallpox, was destined for obliteration 6 years ago when a select group of researchers took a new interest in it. The team extensively studied a promising antiviral treatment for variola infection that might be useful in containing an outbreak. They also demonstrated for the first time that the virus can cause fulminant disease in a species other than humans. But their work has been controversial, in part because it raises a question about the World Health Organization plan to destroy all known stocks of variola.