Scientists and health officials are pretty certain that the smallpox virus exists in only two places in the world: at the CDC in Atlanta and in a government laboratory in Russia. The World Health Organization declared the disease eradicated in 1979, and the two remaining supplies are for research only. This week, the 64th World Health Assembly will take up the question of whether these two stores of the virus should be destroyed.
Now, public health officials are divided on how to ensure that the disease stays eradicated. Some say our best bet is to keep the remaining samples of the virus safe and continue to study them, then destroy them at a later date; others say the safest course is to destroy them now, once and for all.
A list of pros and cons for keeping smallpox around are listed at 80beats. Link
-via Carl Zimmer