What pathogens were the participants given and were they successful?
The participants were given a variety of vaccines and pathogens, including bacteria such as tularemia and Q fever as well as live viruses such as yellow fever, dengue fever, Rift Valley fever, hepatitis A, Yersinia pestis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, and others.
In some cases, these vaccines were successful and the participants reportedly only experienced mild symptoms. However, in other cases the participant’s bodies were not able to fight off the virus and they had long-term complicating effects but no participants reportedly died as a result of the experimentation.
When and why were the experiments discontinued?
The experiments were eventually discontinued in the 1970s when it was revealed that some of the participants had contracted deadly diseases such as hepatitis and yellow fever. It’s likely that the public outcry over these revelations was what led to the discontinuation of POW.
What legacy does POW have?
While POW may have helped to win the Cold War, it also left a legacy of distrust among the American public. Many people felt that the government had taken advantage of these men and used them as nothing more than human guinea pigs. As a result, POW is often cited as an example of unethical government experimentation.
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