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Should smallpox be condemned to extinction?

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Health officials will be meeting next week to decide if the virus should be destroyed once and for all.

At its peak smallpox was one of the world's deadliest killers, resulting in the deaths of 1 in 12 people. The invention of the first effective vaccine in 1798 however eventually began to turn the tide and by 1980 it was declared that the disease had finally been eradicated.

Read More: http://www.unexplain...d-to-extinction

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What if smallpox samples exist in other countries, and the W.H.O. are not aware? Would having it for research, make no differance if the disease returned or mutated? Could it be re-engineered into a cure for some other disease or virus?

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I agree completely. There is no way to ensure the total destruction of the virus in all parts of the world.

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I doubt that if they decide to destroy any remaining samples, there still won't be a few samples kept some place they don't know.

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Posted (edited)

I doubt that if they decide to destroy any remaining samples, there still won't be a few samples kept some place they don't know.

Yep, at least a few governmets will probably keep it around for some later date for possible weaponization or who knows what.

Edited by Razer
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What if sp was a cure for some future ailment...

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Sadly we don't trust other countries to destroy all samples and likely they don't trust us either. Can't see how it would be a bad think to render the virus extinct, however.

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It's unlikely, and would ultimately be stupid, in my eyes. Why? Because it's possible that smallpox, or another strain/early version of it is actually frozen in permafrost somewhere. Seeing as how one survived (as in, replicated after being thawed) what's stopping another one?

Having 'our' smallpox sample on hand, we could compare both and hopefully treat the newly unfrozen one.

Not to mention, as soon as it's destroyed, anybody who has a sample themselves can unleash it.

Oh and let's not forget, originally, it was due to be destroyed, and was forgotten about.

Also, does humanity have the right to actively and knowingly destroy the last remaining example of a living organism?

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I believe it Should be destroyed, but the agrument that others would hoard it is too true. And therefore the US would have to maintain its own supply for vaccine purposes if nothing else.

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It shouldn't be destroyed. It's always smart to have the samples secured of course, but not annihilated. It may be needed to create vaccines for another strain. The glaciers and Antarctic sheets are melting ... who knows what sorts of ancient viruses and microbes will arise from their millennia-long slumber. Better to be safe than sorry.

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It shouldn't be destroyed. It's always smart to have the samples secured of course, but not annihilated. It may be needed to create vaccines for another strain. The glaciers and Antarctic sheets are melting ... who knows what sorts of ancient viruses and microbes will arise from their millennia-long slumber. Better to be safe than sorry.

smallpox is only transmitted by human carriers. Which is why it has been eradicated. Therefore there can be no "other strains". There might by viruses similar but not small pox. There would be no "ancient viruses" of small pox.

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It will most likely be "destroyed" to avoid biological terrorism. But if I was a biological terrorist I would aim for the food supply not people. There is more terror in watching your family slowly starve to death then watching them be afflicted by a disease that will likely just leave them disfigured but alive. Smallpox only kills 1 in 12. Starvation kills 12 in 12.

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Seems nobody has enough trust in everybody else to get rid of something that otherwise might escape and cause havoc, even though the chance of that is small.

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Seems nobody has enough trust in everybody else to get rid of something that otherwise might escape and cause havoc, even though the chance of that is small.

Here is an article on the few viruses that have escaped.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/04/11/a-brief-terrifying-history-of-viruses-escaping-from-labs-70s-chinese-pandemic-was-a-lab-mistake/

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