NBC Weapons: April 2, 2002


American scientists have announced a new drug called HDP-CDV (for hexadecyloxypropl-cidofovir) that can stop smallpox from attacking the human body. While the drug is currently just a successful lab experiment, if it can work in the field it would defuse the threat of smallpox as a bioterrorism weapon. Being in pill form, this would be easier to use. Untrained people could hand out pills, but giving injections requires a trained medical person and probably some kind of medical facility. HDP-CDV is derived from another drug (Cidofovir) which is toxic, and the new drug has not been tested for toxicity.--Stephen V Cole


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