Smallpox Research Paper

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Smallpox was first discovered in 1122 B.C. and has been greatly feared throughout the course of history (Jenner, E., 18 January 2005). This disease has been the cause for voluminous epidemics around the globe. But through a vaccination program by the World Health Organization Smallpox has been eradicated. The last known case of Smallpox took place on October of 1977 (Center of Disease Control, 1997). Smallpox is known to be one of the deadliest disease known to men, but it is also the only communicable disease to be eradicated. Where smallpox comes from is not known, but it is believed that it originated in Africa, then spread to India by merchants traveling to and fro. Smallpox also reached China about 1000 years ago. The first case recorded…show more content…
Through research scientist have discovered that the Smallpox virus only affects humans and does not affect animals and insects and cannot be transmitted by them either (UXL,2000). The Smallpox virus is caused by the Variola virus. There were two types of the Variola virus, the Variola major that violently killed around 30 percent of the victims infected and the Variola minor that only killed about 1percent of infected victims (WebMD, 2005). A person was able to catch Smallpox simply by coming in contact with someone infected with the disease. The virus could also be transmitted in “droplets”, meaning by any type of body fluids. Everyone was susceptible to Smallpox, if a person were to merely come in any type of contact with objects that were previously used by someone with Smallpox then they could easily catch the disease. The portal of entry for Variola was commonly through the respiratory mucosa, but could also enter through the skin (CIDRAP, 2014) . Once inside the body through any means of transmission Smallpox passed an incubation period of about twelve to fourteen days before any symptoms or signs were visible to…show more content…
Some of the first symptoms were fever accompanied by chills, muscle aches, and rash-like bumps on the back, chest, and stomach, that rash was the focal symptom (Doby, K., RN). Other symptoms are commonly seen with Influenza, symptoms like, abdominal pain, vomiting, and malaise. The symptoms of Smallpox can be compared to a roller coaster, after a couple of days the rash would vanish and the fever would decrease, but then the symptoms would return once again. At the time of return, the “rash” would spread to places where the rash had not been before, such as feet, hands, and even face. Right after the rash appeared the virus becomes very contagious as it passes along the mucous membrane at this point the person was very contagious, the cells in a way shed and could be released by simply coughing. These bumps would individually fill up with a clear substance, that would later become pus and remained that way for a period of twelve days. During the time where the bumps contained pus it was often mistaken for Chickenpox. At the end of the twelve-day period the pox would form what looked like a scab, that when it fell of small opening would be left on the skin, causing scars. Victims of Smallpox were left with these opening in the skin and this put them at risk to attract other diseases such as bone infection. The most sever

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