Variola Virus Law and Legal Definition

Variola virus is a type of virus used as a dangerous weapon in biological warfare. Variola is a Latin term meaning spotted or pimple. The idea of using this virus as a part of warfare started in Russia and USA. Variola virus is highly infectious. The U.S. has a compelling national security interest in preventing unlawful activity of spreading such virus as this spread of virus is highly appealing to the terrorists.

Pursuant to 18 USCS § 175c in the U.S it is unlawful for any person to knowingly produce, engineer, synthesize, acquire, transfer directly or indirectly, receive, possess, import, export, or use, or possess and threaten to use, variola virus. However it can be used by or under the authority of, the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The following is an example of a Federal Statute defining variola virus:

According to 18 USCS § 175c "variola virus" means a virus that can cause human smallpox or any derivative of the variola major virus that contains more than 85 percent of the gene sequence of the variola major virus or the variola minor virus.