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Report on Small Pox - Assignment Example

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Poxviruses, which also include monkeypox and cowpox, are the largest animal viruses and can easily be observed using a light microscope (are larger than certain bacteria). The variola virus has…
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Report on Small Pox
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Download file to see previous pages Smallpox can be transmitted as a biological (terrorist) weapon and through contaminated items also since the virus can remain on cloths, surfaces and bedding for over 7 days (Baker & Nicklin, 2011).
According to Baker and Nick (2011), the viral infection begins in the lungs from which it moves to the bloodstream, and the finally to the brain, kidneys, intestines, skin, and other body parts. The activity of the virus in the cells of the skin results in rashes that then form flat, red lesions called macules which also metamorphose into raised blisters (vesicles). Approximately 2-3 weeks after infection, pimples which are filled with pus (pustules) begin to appear.
There are four varieties of the variola virus. Classic variola (smallpox) is the most communicable and infects over 30% of those who encounter it. Hemorrhagic variola kills faster and at a higher rate than its classic counterpart, with infected persons (commonly pregnant women) dying even before the formation of pustules. Malignant/ flat variola has a death rate closing in on the 100%, evolves slower than classic forms and is characterized by flat lesions. Modified variola, on the other hand, affects those who have undergone immunization, occurring as a result of response of the immune system. Generally, variola major (smallpox) has 30% death rate while alastrim (variola minor)’s death rate is 1% since it is milder (Baker & Nicklin, 2011).
The pioneer signs of smallpox appear 12-14 days following infection. During the period of incubation (7-17 days following infection), an infected individual appears healthy and cannot infect others. However, after the incubation period, flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, extreme back pain, severe fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, and general discomfort are characteristic indicators of smallpox. After a few days, red flat spots surface on the individual’s forearms, hands, face and on the trunk. In 24 or 48 hours, these lesions become small clear fluid ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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