There has been a worldwide debate on whether or not the last remaining samples of the smallpox virus, one of the deadliest diseases the world has ever seen, should be destroyed.
Since May 16, health officials from 192 countries have been meeting in Geneva, Switzerland to discuss a plethora of health issues, but began talks about the smallpox virus last Friday.
According to a press release, the World Health Assembly has decided "that the remaining stock of smallpox (variola) virus should be destroyed when crucial research based on the virus has been completed."
Meaning, researchers will have 3 more years to study the virus before discussing destroying the samples again. However, based on the history of these ongoing discussions since 1996, in 2014, researchers will most likely be granted another 3 years. Ha!
[Image via AP Images.]
Tags: cnn, countries, destroyed, disease, geneva, preserved, research, smallpox virus, study, switzerland, world health assembly