Variola Virus as a weapon of Biologic terrorism

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The variola virus causes smallpox. It is very contagoius, highly infectable and life threatening. Due to a global vaccination program, it has been wiped out from us…or has it? The last US case was in 1949, the last case on the planet was in Somalia, in 1977. There is a 30% mortality rate of those that get the disease. In 1972, the vaccine was discontinued in the US., and in 1982, in the rest of the world. So, now if smallpox was to leak out, everyone would be in trouble. It is transmitted person to person by contact with infected or inhaling infected droplets. You can also get it from contaminated clothes or bedding. There is no proven treatment for smallpox, but there is much research being done on the newer antiviral drugs. The only way to prevent smallpox is with the vaccine. Due to fears of it being used as a bioterrorist weapon, military reinstituted it into their mandatory vaccinations in 2003.

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