News FocusBIOTERRORISM

How Devastating Would a Smallpox Attack Really Be?

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Science  31 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5573, pp. 1592-1595
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5573.1592

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Summary

A smallpox attack is widely seen as the ultimate nightmare scenario. But many scientists--including some who know the disease firsthand--say it wouldn't be as horrific as everybody thinks. They argue that the disease would spread much more slowly than is being predicted and could, in many cases, be contained quite easily.