News & AnalysisEradication

Pressure Growing to Set a Date to Destroy Remaining Smallpox Stocks

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Science  28 Jan 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6016, pp. 389
DOI: 10.1126/science.331.6016.389

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The fate of the world's last stocks of the deadly smallpox virus is once again being debated. Last week, the executive board of the World Health Organization (WHO) began discussing what research remains to be done with the live virus. In May, WHO's governing body, the World Health Assembly, will decide whether to set a firm deadline for the stock's destruction. Contrary to some media reports that the executive board recommended keeping the stocks, no conclusions were reached, says a WHO spokesperson.