Confronting Smallpox

The defeat of the deadly smallpox virus still stands as one of modern science's most stunning achievements. The wretched disease engulfs the body in pustules that itch and ooze and often blind or disfigure victims who survive. Smallpox killed a half-billion people between 1880 and 1980, the year the World Health Organization declared the disease "eradicated." The victory was fueled by a vaccine that uses a milder but still-dangerous relative of the smallpox virus to provoke an immune response....
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