AirTalk for January 8, 2002

Smallpox

The smallpox virus killed half a billion people in the last century, three times the number of those killed in all the wars during that period of time. Larry Mantle discusses the history of smallpox, from its infection rates of the eighteenth century to its status as the "ultimate weapon" today. Jonathan Tucker, author of Scourge (Atlantic Monthly Press), joins the conversation and contends that smallpox is not an illness of the past because of its palpable threat as a military weapon, and what could happen if the virus fell into the wrong hands.


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