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One of these scourges was smallpox, a highly infectious and deadly disease that causes boils to sprout on the entire body. Once endemic to the entire world, it has been wiped out with mass vaccination efforts by the World Health Organization with the last reported case being in 1977 in Somalia (Tucker 118). The threat of the virus still looms over us, however, with the advent of the age of terrorism. Its transmission method (human to human), the lack of effective treatment, its high mortality rate, and its ease of weaponization has compelled the Centers for Disease Control to classify it as a Category A bioterrorist agent with the highest potential for use as a weapon against civilians (Ryan 41). The smallpox disease is caused by the Variola virus, a virus of the Orthopox family, which also includes cowpox, monkeypox, and other related diseases (Tucker 5).
Smallpox Vaccination — The Call to Arms", n engl j med348;5 www.nejm.org january30, 2003. Web • Daniel J. Kuhles and David M. Ackman. "Smallpox Vaccination Program: Where Do We Go From Here? “http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/early/2003/10/22/hlthaff.w3.503.citation. Web • W Katherine Yih*1, Tracy A Lieu1,2,3, Virginia H Rêgo1, Megan A O'Brien1, David K Shay4, Deborah S Yokoe5,6 and Richard Platt1,5,6,7.
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