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Small pox

James Gibbs gibbs at fas.harvard.edu
Tue Jan 24 23:12:16 EST 1995

Clifford Bond (umbcb at GEMINI.OSCS.MONTANA.EDU) wrote:

: However, consider this scenario.  Suppose that there was a cemetery 
: populated with bodies of victims of smallpox from the 1920s or maybe 
: earlier.  Someone deems the cemetery property necessary for development 
: and all of the bodies must be moved to a new cemetery.  It is a given 
: that variola virus can survive for a long period of time, maybe 
: years, in the proper environment.  Could this cemetery be a source of 
: naturally acquired smallpox?

Also, there *probably* (maybe?) are stocks of variola frozen in some lab 
freezer somewhere that are completely unlabeled and forgotten. Then 
again, people have known that smallpox is extremely lethal and probably 
would take more care than that with such a pathogen. Comments?

Jim Gibbs                                         gibbs at fas.harvard.edu
"Feminism is the radical notion that women are people."--anon.
"Her love was like a wave-division multiplexor."

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