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Can Smallpox Be Used As A Biological Weapon?

Smallpox is one of serious diseases that can cause death in numbers crippling a wide region, and is causes by a limited number of organisms. In issues related to biological warfare and bio-terrorism, this disease is devastating and is a potential agent to be used in biological weapons. Small pox was a large scope in the world before its vaccination was discovered because at one point, everyone believed of contracting the disease which bore a fatality rate of 30%. In case of any release of smallpox in aerosol form, it scatters rapidly due to the stability of its aerosol form and very formidable even in small dose. A case of smallpox in contemporary world becomes an international panic for emergency control measures.

Although there is no likely scenario in the real world of a possible bio-warfare, small pox can be used effectively as a biological weapon. This is because after the eradication of the disease in the 1970s has seen many states cease the vaccination against the disease  and now citizens are highly susceptible and the disease can spread widely allover the world. Given its stability in aerosol form the disease would spread easily and increased threat of terrorism because it is believed that the smallpox disease is still retained in two approved facilities and might fall to wrong hands.

There is a potential of smallpox pathogens being used as an agent of bio-terrorism or bio-warfare though it is believed to have been eradicated. Due to its ease of dissemination and transmission from one person to another, in addition to its high mortality rate and impact to public health, the release of the disease as a biological weapon in its aerosol form is a reality. There is potential of using smallpox in bio-weapon due to its great catastrophic scenario and lack of effective control measures.

Updated on February 10th, 2013 | §Permalink