Smallpox as actual biothreat: lessons learned from its outbreak in ex-Yugoslavia in 1972



Bioterrorism today represents a current threat and risk that could have enormous health, environmental, economic, social, political and psychological consequences. Variola (smallpox) virus is classified as class A of potential biological weapons, due to its microbiological, genetic, antigenic and epidemiological characteristics. The potential danger is more real because vaccination against smallpox has stopped since disease eradication in 1979. That is why we want to share our unique, rich experience and acquired knowledge in the fight against this highly contagious and deadly disease during the smallpox outbreak in ex-Yugoslavia in 1972. It was the largest postwar epidemic in Europe during which were officially registered 175 ill patients, 35 of them with lethal outcome. This outbreak was specific by the time of its occurrence, the affected territory, dimensions and some epidemiological characteristics, but also by well-organized, synchronized and efficient reaction of the competent state services in the fight against it.

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Elizabeta Ristanović - Military Medical Academy , University of Defence, Belgrade, Serbia

Ana Gligić - Institute for Virology, Vaccines and Sera Torlak), Belgrade,Serbia

Sonja Atanasievska - Military Medical Academy, Belgrade

Vesna Protić-Djokić - Military Medical Academy, Belgrade

Dragutin Jovanović - Military Medical Academy, Belgrade

Miodrag Radunović - Faculty of Medicine, University of Montenegro, Podgorica, Montenegro

How to Cite
Ristanović, E., Gligić, A., Atanasievska, S., Protić-Djokić, V., Jovanović, D., & Radunović, M. (2017). Smallpox as actual biothreat: lessons learned from its outbreak in ex-Yugoslavia in 1972. Annali dell’Istituto Superiore Di Sanità, 52(4), 587–597. Retrieved from
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