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Facts on smallpox:
- The most deadly human disease
- Caused by variola virus
- Humans are the only natural host of variola virus
- There is no known cure
- More than 300 million people worldwide died from smallpox from 1900 to 1978
- Last case in the United States was in 1949
- Last vaccination in the US for smallpox was in 1972
- Last case in the world was in Somalia on October 26, 1977
- In 1980, the World Health Assembly announced that smallpox had been eradicated
- Overall mortality rate for unvaccinated people is 30%
- Inhaling a single particle may be enough to cause infection
- 100 tons of smallpox virus was developed in the Soviet Union
- Particles containing the virus are released into the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes or simply talks
- 7-17 day incubation period
- After incubation period, symptoms start and it's contagious
- Smallpox vaccination discovered in 1796
- ~140,000 vials of vaccine (each vial enough for 50-60 people) are in storage at the CDC
- All smallpox vaccine production facilities were dismantled after 1980
- Renewed vaccine production is estimated to require at least 24-36 months

More Reading:
CDC Official Site on Smallpox
Arm-to-Arm Against Bioterrorism - Donald Miller
Smallpox immunization techniques
Malady of the month
Smallpox - Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies
Smallpox Information Center - Phages
World Health Organization
Smallpox history
Yahoo listing
Google listing
Smallpox Short Course - LearnWell
Smallpox online diagnosis

Images:
CDC
WHO
Vaccine Reactions - CDC
UCSF

Posted: 2002-09-30 10:56:53


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