Planet Gore

No, Global Warming Won’t Bring Back Smallpox

Phew. One fewer thing for the alarmists to be alarmed about. Via Gizmodo:

Could the frozen bodies of smallpox victims in Siberia, now thawing because of climate change, re-release the virus into the environment and thus start a global pandemic?

There has apparently been speculation about this for more than a decade. “In the past,” the BBC explains, “some researchers and news outlets speculated that smallpox in the frozen graves of former victims might remain in suspended animation, ready to begin a new cycle of infection should those bodies ever be dug up and unthawed [sic]. Scientists have attempted to excavate corpses in frozen graves in Alaska and Siberia that contain the remains of smallpox victims, however none of the bodies contained viable viruses.” . . . 

This terrifying possibility — a plot straight out of a future horror film — is all but immediately quashed, however, by Michael Lane of the CDC. Lane previously worked on smallpox eradication programs from 1970 to 1981 and he, for one, is not worried. “No one feels there’s a serious chance that global warming will melt the permafrost and unleash an epidemic,” he quips.

The whole thing here.

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