Controlling Smallpox

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Science  15 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5597, pp. 1342-1344
DOI: 10.1126/science.1079370

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Mathematical modeling enables predictions to be made about the best vaccination strategy to eradicate a bioterrorist smallpox outbreak. In his Perspective, Koopman discusses a new study (Halloran et al.) which suggests that targeted vaccination of exposed individuals rather than mass vaccination of all individuals may be the most effective approach. However, as Koopman points out, accurately modeling the transmission of smallpox is very difficult in the absence of data about smallpox outbreaks.