The last cases of smallpox in the world occurred in an outbreak of two cases (one of which was fatal) in BirminghamUK in 1978. A medical photographer, Janet Parker, contracted the disease at the University of Birmingham Medical School and died on September 11, 1978,[79] after which Professor Henry Bedson, the scientist responsible for smallpox research at the university committed suicide.[4][80] In light of this incident, all known stocks of smallpox were destroyed or transferred to one of two WHO reference laboratories which had BSL-4facilities; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States and the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR in Koltsovo, Russia.[81]

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