Smallpox Eradication: Is the Time Right for Destruction of the Virus Stocks?
Professor Geoffrey L Smith, Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow, Imperial College London & Member, WHO Advisory Committee on Variola Virus Research
Dr Robert Drillien, Director of Research at INSERM & Member, WHO Advisory Committee on Variola Virus Research
Chair: Dr David Heymann, Head and Senior Fellow, Centre on Global Health Security, Chatham House
For decades there has been much debate over whether to destroy the final stocks of the variola virus, responsible for smallpox - held in two high-security laboratories in the USA and Russia. This discussion is part of the agenda at the World Health Organization Annual Meeting.
The panellists will examine the outcomes of the annual meeting, taking into consideration both sides of the debate, and will explore the wider implications such as the costs of keeping the stocks, the potential impact on research and protection against the threat of bioterror.