A scary thing happened at the National Institute of Health (of all places!!) recently. Unknown to anyone, some vials of small pox virus were discovered. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/07/16/fda-update-on-vials-found-in-cold-storage-at-nih/12744543/ Could they have been used as a new small pox bio-terrorism threat?
That’s scary because the disease of small pox virus was eradicated from the planet in 1979. Which means no one is immune. There are no meds or drugs that would cure anyone who was infected. Small pox spread like wildfire. If it escapes, a new plague could sweep the country. Luckily, these samples were discovered by government officials before they fell into the wrong hands.
Who would have the “wrong hands?” Could a small pox bio-terrorism threat happen?
Many people don’t know this fact. After small pox was eliminated in 1979, scientists decided to keep a few samples of the virus in secure storage. One place is at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. The only other place (except for the National Institute of Health—we now learn) in the world is a secret lab in Vector, Russia.
What could be a small pox bio-terrorism scenario? Here’s my fear.
It’s not the lab at the CDC. Security is the tightest in the world. But what about the lab in Russia? Or labs we don’t know about? Do you think their security measures are good enough to prevent a small pox bio-terrorism threat?
What if some desperately poor Russian scientist was offered a ton of money to steal a sample of small pox? And what if the buyer was a terrorist? Could this be the next small pox bio-terrorism agent?
Unfortunately, I think it could happen. My first book, Reprisal, was based on this scenario. The plot starts with a scientist selling vials of small pox virus to a terrorist. He intends to infect American children to start a plague. And since there’s no cure, the effects would be catastrophic.
Small pox is passed as easily as a common cold. The outcome of a plague is really scary. Think of all the people crammed together at shopping malls, sporting events, music concerts, and air planes. The spread of a a small pox bio-terrorism virus would explode across the country.
How do we stop it? What would happen? You’ll have to read my book!! I did a ton of research about the emergency plans the CDC would use to combat a small pox plague. For instance, they have mobile labs set up that can be deployed at a minute’s notice to anywhere in the country. Their first strategy would be to contain the spread in as small a geographic area as possible. If this idea interests/scares you—you’ll love the book!!