Originally Posted by aroc91
There are already strict guidelines in place. My microbiology professor once visited the CDC in Georgia and she said even the clearance levels below what's needed to access smallpox are locked down like Ft. Knox. The precautions they take are ridiculous.
smallpox isn't exactly what you would call "nice", the issue with those types of organisms is mutational ability. Find a way to make it airborn longer, or worse have dormant periods to be in a water stream..... Feed that to a town, things get dicy. Considering it also has a decent mortality rate, it's pretty scary. A good example is the bubonic plague, which isn't naturally found in Humans. An over-infested rat (or rodent) population caused it to mutate, jump to a different host and infect many many people. It is actually commonly found in smaller animals, which makes it even weirder. It's not even as deadly as it could be however it is a very good doorway to other illnesses from a weakened immune system. It is found today, just not the same mutation/version that happened during it's most famous debut.
Anything that can cause fatalities of 20%+ is considered extremely dangerous. Not because it can kill but because it kills a good percent and heavily weakens the other. You can use that instead of nuking/bombing a population. You end up sending in a fraction of the troops required to anchor down some territory, freeing up troops to actively fight the healthy survivors. So yeah, I can see why smallpox would be pretty locked down.
I'm just saying that because you seemed to use it as a light example, it's actually one of the more serious situations. It has a historic fatality rate of 30%, spreads quickly and would incapacitate at least 50% of the population. Think about that for a minute, that's pretty hardcore. New mutations would leave any vaccine out the window, have a few variations to bomb a population with, you could keep half the population out of the fight. Even worse, those that didn't get infected by strain1 don't have immunity as well as those who survived strain1. Now you have the uninfected face a new 30% mortality rate, things get spicy quick. Time it right and you'd get over 50% of the population out of a fight, without a vaccine.
Why do people think bio-warfare was banned? Because it's incredibly efficient, not as good as a nuke but much quicker than ANY other form of warfare we currently have. As well as being incredibly in-humane, though war itself is in-humane so.... anyways, even H1N1 active strains should be left somewhat guarded and they aren't even nearly as terrible as anything I could think up. Believe me, H1N1 is a cakewalk compared to what you can do today.