Smallpox (Variola)

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Smallpox (Variola)

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Prevention Smallpox Vaccine6




Smallpox (Variola)


Smallpox was an infectious disease, severe, contagious, caused by the Variola virus, which in some cases could cause death. There was never any special treatment for smallpox, and the only prevention was the vaccination. The name smallpox is derived from the Latin varius (varied, colorful), and refers to the raised bumps that appear on the face and body of an infected person. According to WHO, smallpox, along with the RP, are the only diseases that have been completely eradicated from nature by humans?


Smallpox was caused by the virus variola that emerged in human populations about 10,000 BC. For several centuries, successive epidemics ravaged the population. It was a disease so lethal that in some ancient cultures, it was forbidden to name children until they contracted the disease and survived it. Its mortality rate is as high as 30% of infected patients.

In India, it was believed that smallpox was due to the blessing of the goddess of smallpox Shital (the cold), and when someone was sick came to worship (with the epidemic was expanding faster). Millennia affect the Old World during the Conquest of America will be spread among the indigenous population and causing a collapse in the war working with the conquerors. Among the Aztecs in 1520 appear during the siege of Tenochtitlan also causing the death of the Aztec leader Cuitlahuac. Among the Incas end the king Huayna Capac and provoke civil war pre-Hispanic appearance. In Chile stall the progression of the Mapuche after the death of Valdivia. O causing the death of King Ludwig I of Spain.

For thousands of years, there have been occasional outbreaks of smallpox, however, after a successful worldwide vaccination program eradicated the disease. In the United States, the last case of smallpox occurred in 1949, while the last naturally occurring case in the world was in Somalia in 1977. Once the disease is eradicated worldwide, was discontinued routine vaccination of the entire population because there was no longer necessary for the prevention. Except for the reserves in two laboratories, the variola virus is eliminated. These samples are kept in cryogenic state at the Institute VECTOR Novosibirsk (Russia) and the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta (United States). Groups of biologists have insisted on eliminating those two samples to prevent, unwanted by accident, some of them out of the frozen state in which they are. This has not been carried out because the virus itself was never fully understood and knew very little about how they mutated, although it managed to find the vaccine, the production was made empirically, without knowing detailed structure of a virus or infection. For this reason, we decided to keep only two samples.


Smallpox is an infectious and often deadly disease. It had been eradicated by the year 1980 due to successful vaccination campaigns all over the world. However, two laboratories - one in the United States and the other in Russia still have stocks of the virus for research purposes, while many people are ...
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