Several hundred million people in the 1800’s were killed by the hands of a deadly disease called small pox. By the mid 1970’s the development of a cure for small pox was imminent. By 1979 the disease had been completely wiped out across the globe thanks to mass efforts by the World Health Assembly (WHA).
However, being the first infectious disease to be wiped out by humans in nature, small quantities of it were kept by Russia and America. These were to be used for future research in development in the fight against new diseases which pose threats to humanity. However in 1993, the remaining samples of smallpox were to be destroyed, but an argument broke out between Russia and America and the samples were kept to this day.
This poses a threat and raises the issue, is small pox really gone forever? Since discovering the virus, we’ve learnt huge amounts of valuable data from its genes to how it attacks its host. However, if one of the remaining samples were to fall into the wrong hands or break out, it could cause a pandemic similar to that seen during the 1800’s.
Until a final deadline is announced by the WHE ealth to completely destroy the virus of the face of the Earth, we will always be at risk from one of the most notorious diseases known to man.