How bad is Smallpox, really?
Before we look at warning and reporting of a biological attack I want to tell you about two Canadian scientists that wanted to see if they could put together horse pox virus, a close cousin to Smallpox, from gene splices from different laboratories. Well they did it and what makes things really bad, they published how they did it for under $100,000 in a common lab. Now any well-funded group could do the same thing and release Smallpox on a target area.
Some quick facts about Smallpox:
- Smallpox only exists in humans.
- It has about a 30% mortality rate.
- Smallpox has an incubation time of 12-14 days but can range from 7-17 days.
- It is the deadliest disease in the history of mankind.
- No one knows how it started or where it came from.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Small Pox eradicated in 1980.
- Samples of Smallpox still exist in labs around the world.
- In my opinion Smallpox would be a perfect Biological Agent!
Let’s talk about Smallpox as a Bio-agent used on a target area like the US. The group would release it in 3-4 of the most populated cities in the US. The disease would spread rapidly without detection for 7-14 days. After the first victims show up at hospitals they spread the disease to the hospital worker and the worker spread it throughout the hospital. This all happens even before they realize that it is Smallpox they are dealing with. After the lab results come back, in 3-10 days, the hospital determines it is Small Pox. By that time it is too late to quarantine the hospital or the patience’s because it has already spread far outside the area.
To my knowledge we have no Early Warning System for disease like we do for weather, earth quakes and tsunamis. The Department of Health would need to use the same National Alert System we have in place for other disasters, the questions is would they?
Large groups of people have never had any Smallpox vaccines and we currently do not have enough stockpiled to start a nationwide vaccine program. If you put a 30% template on the US population that is 98 million people dead from this disease.
Learn more about Biological Agents HERE