Skip Navigation
CHS blue logo square
Home > Our Work > All Publications > 2014


Our publications keep professionals informed on the most important developments and issues in health security and biosecurity.

Find an article or report by keywords:

Find an article or report or see all by area, author, or year:


The Smallpox Threat: A Time to Reconsider Global Policy

D. A. Henderson, Isao Arita
Date posted:
April 08, 2014
Publication type:
Biosecur Bioterror 2014;12(3):117-121
Mary Ann Leibert, Inc.
See also:

Full Text  HTML • PDF


In May of this year, the 67th World Health Assembly will again debate the question of when the remaining specimens of smallpox virus should be destroyed. . . . Inordinate amounts of time, effort, and resources have been spent in endeavoring to reach consensus on this one component of a smallpox threat strategy: whether to destroy or not destroy smallpox virus strains now being retained in the 2 World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Laboratories (in the United States and Russia). In both, the virus is being held under secure conditions. This year, a WHO-appointed group of international scientists concurred that there is no justification for retaining live smallpox virus. In any case, as others have pointed out, advances in genomic biology would now permit strains of virus to be replicated should someone wish to do so. Logic dictates an early date for destruction of the last laboratory strains.



Our Mission

To protect people’s health from epidemics and disasters and ensure that communities are resilient to major challenges.