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Siberia to continue to hold Russia's only stock of smallpox

By The Siberian Times reporter
14 October 2014

Strains of the deadly disease remain at the high security Vector Research Centre.

Vector is currently engaged in research into the critical worldwide threat from Ebola. Picture: The Siberian Times 

Only two stocks of eradicated smallpox remain in the world, in Koltsovo, near Novosibirsk, and in the American city of Atlanta. 

The head of Vector, the Russian State Research Centre of Virology and Biotechnology, said today that there are no immediate plans to destroy the virus stocks. 

'The collection remains as it was. No one is planning to destroy it', said Valery Mikheyev, as cited by RIA Novosti.

A final decision on the fate of the stocks is to be made by the World Health Organisation, which declared smallpox eradicated in 1980.

'The issue is being discussed, but I think that it will take long enough until the liquidation of the repositories. The threats persist and in order to have some working material to counter these threats, these sample strains should be (kept)'.

Smallpox was an infectious disease caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The last naturally occurring case of smallpox was registered in October 1977. Vector is currently engaged in research into the critical worldwide threat from Ebola.

Comments (1)

Man, this story is "Deadly"!
jojnjo, Dublin.
17/10/2014 08:36

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