SLU NURS 424 - ERADICATING SMALLPOX (7 pages)

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ERADICATING SMALLPOX

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Running head ERADICATING SMALLPOX Eradicating Smallpox 1 Running head ERADICATING SMALLPOX 2 Eradicating Smallpox Smallpox is caused by the variola virus and is an acute contagious disease The variola virus is a member of the family Poxviridae and is the largest and most complex viruses known to infect people Moore Seward Lane 2006 Smallpox dates back to 1157 BC when Pharaoh Ramses V of Egypt died The Pharaoh s mummy well preserved displayed signs of smallpox blisters on the face and torso Ligon 2001 Once a very common disease throughout the world smallpox was eradicated in 1977 although the World Health Organization WHO did not officially declare its successful eradication until 1980 Karbo Fasano 2003 The variola virus no longer occurs naturally however there are still stock of the virus held in two high security laboratories in the world the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta Georgia and the State Research Center for Virology and Biotechnology in Koltsovo Russia Moore et al 2006 Highly contagious deadly and disfiguring the only means of protection from smallpox is immunity either acquired through infection and recovery or vaccination Vaccination for smallpox is very effective even after exposure to the virus Vaccination within one week following exposure lessens the severity of the illness considerably The most efficient route of spreading smallpox is by droplets from the oropharynx however the variola virus may also be spread by direct contact with lesions or contaminated bed linens During the smallpox epidemic fatality rates reached 30 Many individuals gave rise to the smallpox vaccine however the credit is primarily awarded to Edward Jenner Jenner submitted a paper to the Royal Society in 1797 indicating cowpox protected against smallpox His reputation was less than stellar at the time and due to his previous publications the Royal Society declined The following year Jenner published The Running head ERADICATING SMALLPOX 3 Causes and Effects of the Variolae



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