Dr. Debbie Roberts roberts at
Fri Jan 26 10:57:54 EST 1996

In response to the question concerning the destruction of smallpox.  I was 
taught that the vaccine for smallpox utilized the cowpox virus, not the actual 
smallpox virus.  The antigenic nature of all of the pox virus' is quite 
similar (Davis Microbiology 3rd edition).  The vaccine that was used 
the most was an attenuated vaccinia, not the virulent one that they are 
planning to destroy.  I am sure if the virulent virus where destroyed it would 
not hamper any efforts to cure a new outbreak.  Lyophilized strains of the 
attenuated vaccine are probably still around or could be generated easily 
from any new diseased victims.    

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