Yellow Bird: The smallpox threat
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"If, indeed, smallpox has become a weapon in the hands of terrorists, there is reason to be concerned. Right now, the nation is responding with vaccines and inoculations, and we feel reasonably safe. But for Native Americans, smallpox was used as a weapon against them, and the days that followed were the worst of nightmares.

We thought in 1980 that smallpox was eradicated from the world. I knew there were some vials in Atlanta but was surprised recently when the disease began to be talked about as a weapon against our nation.

There are some advantages to being my age. I have had smallpox vaccinations. I remember being sick for a few days, and I carry the pox scar on my arm. Medical experts interviewed on Minnesota Public Radio said those people who were vaccinated before the 1972 cutoff when they stopped giving the vaccinations probably would have some immunity to the disease - or at least, as they put it, we probably wouldn't die from it. . ."

Get the Story:
DORREEN YELLOW BIRD COLUMN: Bioterrorism -- colonial American style (The Grand Forks Herald 9/28)

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