Skip to comments.Forgotten vials of smallpox found in storage room
Posted on 07/08/2014 11:39:19 AM PDT by chessplayer
ATLANTA (AP) A government scientist cleaning out an old storage room at a research center near Washington made a startling discovery last week decades-old vials of smallpox packed away and forgotten in a cardboard box.
The six glass vials of freeze-dried virus were intact and sealed with melted glass, and the virus MIGHT have been dead, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.
(Excerpt) Read more at bigstory.ap.org ...
Unlike Joe Biden's hair which is dead but which he insists is alive.
I would like to point out that all VIRUSES are dead to begin with. It is only in the presence of 'food' that they 'activate'. They're similar to vampires.
By the description these are lyophilized (freeze dried) samples and there is some possibility they could still be viable. This process is used with bacteria as well and is how bacterial and viral samples are shipped to other research facilities. The writer uses the term storage room but I doubt very much that this was some broom closet.
This might be useful since the concept of smallpox being truly eradicated is ridiculous. There are many parts of the world remote enough still have carriers who are dormant and we could never be assured that all of the samples throughout the world were indeed destroyed. Having samples might be useful in recreating vaccines for it.
Vampires and democrats
Don’t you just hate when that happens? Details, details. Maybe the filled viles didn’t have a government inventory numbers, or maybe they did and that’s how they came to find them.
The whole question of whether viruses are are alive or dead is up for debate, probably permanently:
Viruses have no way to replicate themselves outside of a host —they require infection so as to hijack the host’s organelles for that an other purposes.
Even dead scabs that fall off of a dead host are infections and on average each Smallpox victim infects TWELVE other hosts.
We may have to resurrect cowpox and horsepox!
Do cows and horses still get the pox?
One reason for retaining the remaining stocks of smallpox virus is for the purpose of making vaccines. However, we do not actually need smallpox virus to make a vaccine. All we need is vaccinia virus, which is commonly used to make vaccines. Everyone who is immune to vaccinia is immune to smallpox.
I will certainly be looking forward to the viability test results on these samples.
Post to me or FReep mail to be on/off the Bring Out Your Dead ping list.
The purpose of the Bring Out Your Dead ping list (formerly the Ebola ping list) is very early warning of emerging pandemics, as such it has a high false positive rate.
So far the false positive rate is 100%.
At some point we may well have a high mortality pandemic, and likely as not the Bring Out Your Dead threads will miss the beginning entirely.
*sigh* Such is life, and death...
Good thing he didn’t decide to make a quick buck on Craig’s List!
They use cow pox to immunize against small pox. The guys on their first tour got about 3 “jabs.” Since I had been previously immunized I got around 21.
If small pox is wiped out why did I have to get immunized?
I was immunized as a baby (born in 1955). Everybody was immunized until sometime in the 1970’s. Son was immunized while in the navy (2005-2008) and I, too, wondered why it was necessary. I wonder if it wears off or if you are permanently immune.
Thanks for the ping!
This news story makes me uneasy.
I was born in 65, and every single boy in our class had a round scar on our left shoulder, most of the girls did too but some got it elsewhere so you didn’t see it.
They were as common and as overlooked as a belly button.
You’re Welcome, Alamo-Girl!
The actual virus would be more useful in characterization and identifying the changes from when the virus was put into storage to any new variant or outbreak of the same strain. Characterizing the genetic makeup against a base strain can help in creating a more effective vaccine than just using vaccinia alone.