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Smallpox : Pathogenesis and Pathology

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Smallpox: Pathogenesis and Pathology

Smallpox was eradicated in 1980 by the Center for Disease and control. It is now contained in five labs in the United States and Russia, however there are other labs in the world with smallpox. Smallpox is created from the virus Variola which inoculates itself through the skin and into the dermis or more commonly from prolonged, direct face to face contact. Smallpox incubates for as long as two weeks at which time it is multiplying in the lymph nodes and bone marrow. The virus is also able to enter the blood stream and travel through without being harmed by macrophages. The variola virus also causes monkeypox and cowpox however none of these are as bad or as fatal as smallpox.

Smallpox is transferred through the air from prolonged face-to-face exposure. It is also transferred by skin inoculated into the dermis often in an existing wound. Once a human is infected with smallpox, the virus incubates for a period of ten to fourteen days, at which time the human was not infectious. In the incubation period the variola virus multiplies. Once the incubation period ends smallpox infects the respiratory tract which at this time cannot be detected nor provide any symptoms. Next, the virus replicates in the lymph nodes, bone marrow, and spleen. The smallpox virus creates virions which carry the viral DNA from cell to cell protecting it from the inhospitable conditions of the body. There the infected macrophages and virions infect other macrophages in the dermis thus spreading the virus later causing the pustules on the skin. Necrosis and edema follow causing such legions to leave permanent scars once the pustules scab and fall off (Aguayo).
The first cells to become actively produced f...

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