Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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After researching the smallpox disease, one can conclude that it is a threat in biological warfare. With the recent threat of bio-terrorism, the mention of smallpox has been on the minds of many Americans. Because the smallpox disease is such a consuming disease, Americans have the right to fear. Smallpox has long been feared as the most devastating of all infectious diseases (?Smallpox as a Biological Weapon?). With the now highly susceptible mobile population, smallpox would be able to spread widely and rapidly throughout the United States and the world.

Furthermore, any terrorist group who wanted to launch a smallpox attack would have much difficulty finding available disease. Because smallpox was eradicated from the United States in 1949 and the rest of the world in 1978, contracting a sample of the disease would be extremely difficult. Two official stocks of the disease exist for research purposes only. These stocks exist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Russian State Centre for Research on Virology and Biotechnology in Koltsovo, Russian Federation.

Both stocks of the disease are under constant electronic surveillance , and guarded by police around the clock (?smallpox?). Smallpox is even more awful than the recent anthrax scare, because it is considered untreatable.

Moreover, when smallpox was eradicated in 1980, it was said to have ?left the earth? (Encarta). Though there are only two official stocks of the disease, more stashes exist. The same year that worldwide vaccination ceased, the Soviet government began growing and stockpiling large quantities of the smallpox virus, specifically to use in bombs and missiles (Encarta). Therefore, there are many more stocks of the disease out there. Unofficial stashes may also be found in Iraq, North Korea, and Russia. However, these countries would be hesitant to release the...