Simulated smallpox pandemic reveals global preparedness, response challenges

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Experts determined during a recently completed hypothetical bioterrorism scenario, which imagines a smallpox outbreak originating in Fiji, that ample preparedness and response capabilities dictate whether a local outbreak is containable or more likely to become a global pandemic.

“Smallpox is spread through the air and is more than twice as infectious as influenza or Ebola. In the case of a biowarfare event, our modeling shows that without a rapid and coordinated response, the epidemic would quickly spiral out of control and become a pandemic,” said Raina MacIntyre, professor of infectious diseases epidemiology at Australia’s University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney, who designed the hypothetical smallpox exercise. READ MORE