(CIDRAP News) When the World Health Assembly (WHA) considers the fate of the remaining stocks of smallpox virus this week, the debate is likely to be framed in part by a report from a group of independent experts that says the only strong reason for keeping the virus is to satisfy strict regulatory requirements for new vaccines and antivirals.
(CIDRAP News) The World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making arm of the World Health Organization (WHO), opened in Geneva today with director-general Dr Margaret Chan praising the accomplishments of global partners with diseases such as smallpox and polio but noting that health officials got lucky with the pandemic H1N1 virus because it has not overwhelmed medical systems and is a good match with the vaccine.
(CIDRAP News) – In the history of infectious diseases, coincidence plays an extraordinary role. In 1706, Cotton Mather purchased a slave named Onesimus who happened to come from a tribe that practiced variolation, and so smallpox prevention was introduced to North America.
(CIDRAP News) The international coalition of health agencies dedicated to ending polio yesterday declared a "final push" toward the long-delayed goal of eradicating the disease. But its members coupled the announcement with a plea for millions of dollars in donations to fill shortfalls, and with an admission that the 20-year-old campaign continues to face stubborn challenges.
(CIDRAP News) Federal researchers report they have succeeded in infecting monkeys with fatal smallpox, creating the first animal model of the disease for use in testing vaccines and treatments for humans.