Guarding Against Smallpox

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photoFact one: Terrorists can hit the United States. Fact two: Iraq may try to hit the United States in the context of a strike on Baghdad. Fact three: the weapon most feared is biological. And the biological weapon most feared is smallpox.

Smallpox is deadly, it's hideously disfiguring, it's super-contagious--and Americans are wide-open vulnerable to its effects. If you're forty-five or older, you may have a smallpox vaccination scar on your shoulder--but it's way out of date. If you're under forty-five, odds are you've never had a whiff of immunity. This week, the CDC made public its plans for emergency vaccination of the nation in the event of a smallpox outbreak. Not everyone believes it can work. Some predict chaos. So why are we waiting?


Jonathan Tucker, author, "Scourge: The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox"

Dr. William Bicknell, professor of international health, Boston University

Mohammed Akhter, executive director, American Public Health Association

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases

This program aired on September 24, 2002.


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