Biosecurity expert points to threat of smallpox attack

Ian Ramshaw, the director of the National Centre for Biosecurity at the Australian National University, used a meeting held on the 30th anniversary of the eradication of smallpox to raise warnings that a bioterrorism attack using smallpox as a weapon is a distinct threat that nations should prepare for. A number of scientists bearing samples of smallpox vaccine disappeared in the wake of the breakup of the Soviet Union, says Ramshaw, raising the possibility that a rogue state could obtain samples for use in an attack. "Perhaps we're ill-prepared at this stage because we don't have modern vaccines for small pox," he told the group, "something that we could introduce if it were released."

- read the report from The Age