Re, Smallpox

Fri Aug 2 06:00:50 CDT 1996

Dear Taxocomers,

The recent round of discussion about the plight of the last known
remaining cultures of smallpox is to my mind somewhat preposterous.

Smallpox has decimated whole civilizations, for example, the Carbib
Indians, the Aztecs, not to mention numerous other tribes of native
Americans and other cultures that were at one time isolated from the
organism. I susepect that the number of deaths attributed to smallpox
far and away exceed those from other famous deseases including plague
or nuclear weapons for that matter.

The fight against smallpox is one of the greatest successes of medical
science and the W.H.O.  We should completely erradicate this organism.

I wonder about the content of a similar discussion at some point in the
distant future if we come to the same fork in the road with HIV.

James A. Blake
(jablake at

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