Maalin told The Boston Globe in 2006 that he had several opportunities to receive the smallpox vaccine, but initially avoided it because he was afraid the shot would hurt. "Now when I meet parents who refuse to give their children the polio vaccine," he told the Globe, "I tell them my story. I tell them how important these [polio] vaccines are. I tell them not to do something foolish like me." -- Ali Maow Maalin was the last person in the world ever to get smallpox
and dedicated his life to help eradicate another disease, polio, in his home country of Somalia. Sadly he passed away two weeks ago
posted by MartinWisse
on Aug 1, 2013 -
People should have more protection than a necktie, their shirt or paper towel to cover their mouth, nose and eyes. They need Moist Towelettes too. [via]
posted by tellurian
on Jun 9, 2008 -
New form of mousepox developed.
A scientist has created an extremely deadly form of mousepox (a relative of smallpox) through genetic engineering. The new virus kills mice even if they have been given antiviral drugs as well as a vaccine that would normally protect them.
posted by Irontom
on Oct 30, 2003 -
"We have an outbreak"
(James Hughes, director of the CDC
). At least 19 people in three Midwestern states have contracted a disease related to smallpox marking the first outbreak of the life-threatening illness in the United States. The disease is known as monkeypox
posted by stbalbach
on Jun 8, 2003 -
The New England Journal of Medicine made available today an early release of articles from their planned January 30, 2003 issue, designed "to help inform the current national debate about smallpox vaccination" [more inside....articles unfortunately available only in PDF....]
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on Dec 20, 2002 -
The Demon in the Freezer
An article by the author of The Hot Zone
. " The water contained the
whole molecules of life from variola, a parasite that had colonized us thousands
of years ago. We had almost freed ourselves of it, but we found we had
developed a strong affinity for smallpox. Some of us had made it into a
weapon, and now we couldn't get rid of it. I wondered if we ever would, for the
story of our entanglement with smallpox is not yet ended".
posted by Mack Twain
on Sep 30, 2002 -
I guess it trumps dying a horrible death (but not by much)
... "A young calf has his belly shaved. Many slashes are made in the skin. A prior batch of smallpox vaccine is dropped into the slashes and allowed to fester over a period of days. During this period of time, the calf stands in a head stall so that he can’t lick his belly. The calf is led out of the stock to a table where he is strapped down. His belly scabs and pus are scraped off and ground into a powder. The powder is the next batch of smallpox vaccine." (Excerpt from Vaccines : A Second Opinion, and link swiped wholesale from Randomwalks.)
posted by crunchland
on Apr 10, 2002 -
SmallPox 2002 - Silent Weapon...
It is April 2002, and a smallpox outbreak occures in New York. 4 and a half months later and 60 million people across the planet are dead.
Tonight, The BBC broadcast a fictional documentary
as if it were filmed in 2005, looking back at the smallpox pandemic that swept the world in 2002 and killed 60 million people.
Heavily rooted in fact, it was disturbing viewing, to put it mildly. Did anyone else in Europe see this?
posted by tomcosgrave
on Feb 5, 2002 -
Will members of the religious right pass on smallpox vaccines
in the event of an attack? Apparently many of the smallpox vaccines now in use come from work done in 1966 on aborted fetuses – which presents a small dilemma for some anti-abortion conservatives.
"I think this scenario puts pro-lifers in a tough spot, and I'm not sure we need to accept this as the only alternative," Earll said. "We need to call on the government to put more research effort into this before we invest our tax dollars into a vaccine that comes from a tainted source."
Of course these are the same people who oppose potentially life saving research on stem cells
. Some think that eventually the religious right will have to make some hard choices about their stance
on fetus research. As scientific research marches on, will potential medical pay offs out weigh moral opposition in the future?
posted by wfrgms
on Nov 29, 2001 -
It's not about anthrax, but this piece
(by Hot Zone
author Richard Preston) from the New Yorker
a couple of years ago discusses smallpox, the reasons why we keep samples around instead of getting rid of it, how effective it would be if used as a biological weapon, how prepared we are, etc. etc. Also contains an interesting bit mentioning other threats of anthrax (and this was '99).
posted by sherman
on Oct 14, 2001 -