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The target problem to be examined is smallpox. Specifically, what should we (the United States and the entire world) now do with the last known residual samples of the virus that causes this uniquely horrific disease? The illness itself has virtually disappeared from the catalogue of human afflictions: due to a stunningly imaginative, concerted, and resolute campaign of the World Health Organization (WHO) through the 1970s, no one has contracted this deadly impairment for twenty-five years. Yet the causative element, an insidious scourge known as the variola virus, still remains, housed for now in high-security freezers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, at the comparable Russian facility, denominated "Vector," in Siberia, and perhaps at other, clandestine locations as well.

Publication Citation

37 Suffolk U. L. Rev. 1-50 (2004)