(CIDRAP News) If bioterrorists released smallpox virus today, each person who contracted the disease could infect as many as 10 to 12 more before health authorities would recognize the disease and act to contain it, according to experts writing in the Dec 13 issue of Nature.
(CIDRAP News) It is 13 days since the emergence of a hypothetical smallpox epidemic caused by the release of virus in three US shopping malls. Some 16,000 cases have been reported, 1,000 people have died, and the nation is running out of vaccine. Hospitals are overflowing, and federal and state officials are at odds over how to contain the epidemic.
The close kinship between camelpox and smallpox viruses suggests that camelpox could become a threat to humans through natural processes or genetic engineering, according to researchers who sequenced the virus.
(CIDRAP News) A group of universities and private companies have launched an effort to harness donated computer time from millions of personal computers in the hunt for a drug to treat smallpox.
The Smallpox Research Grid Project will use personal computers around the world to analyze interactions between 35 million potential drug molecules and several smallpox virus proteins, according to United Devices, the company coordinating the effort.
(CIDRAP News) – The United States is pledging 20 million doses of smallpox vaccine to a global stockpile managed by the World Health Organization (WHO), Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy Thompson announced today.
Editor's note: This story was revised Aug 17 to add information on funding and a link to the government's request for proposals to supply the vaccine.
(CIDRAP News) – The US government has called for proposals to supply up to 80 million doses of a weakened smallpox vaccine to protect people for whom the conventional vaccine is too risky, according to two vaccine manufacturers.
Editor's note: This is the fifth in a seven-part series investigating the prospects for development of vaccines to head off the threat of an influenza pandemic posed by the H5N1 avian influenza virus. The series puts promising advances in vaccine technology in perspective by illuminating the formidable barriers to producing large amounts of an effective and widely usable vaccine in a short time frame.
(CIDRAP News) This in-depth article investigates the prospects for development of vaccines to head off the threat of an influenza pandemic posed by the H5N1 avian influenza virus. Its seven parts put advances in vaccine technology in perspective by illuminating the formidable barriers to producing an effective and widely usable vaccine in a short time frame.
(CIDRAP News) The Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI's) recently revealed conclusion that the late anthrax researcher Dr. Bruce Ivins committed the anthrax letter attacks of 2001 has been greeted with skepticism by many in the scientific community.
(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.