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Smallpox has been one of the most dangerous and deadly curses ever placed on humankind Even illnesses as terrible as the plague cholera and yellow fever have not had such a universal effect Smallpox is a parasitic virus a virus destructive to the host called variola Its considered to be a crowd disease spreading only through people and requiring a large densely populated area to survive If the virus is cut off from new host bodies it dies out Smallpox is spread by what is called droplet infection Droplets refers to body fluid that escapes into the open air such as moisture does when you sneeze The smallpox virus also remains active on a human corpse for up to three weeks and can be passed through the dead host to the living host that way and also through items such as blankets and clothing which remain infected for up to one year Patients affected with smallpox will generally begin to show symptoms 9-12 days after exposure These symptoms begin with depression fever rigors vomiting headache and backache In several cases patients have become disoriented andor delirious In other cases a distinct rash will begin to form on face hands and legs in this phase All others with begin to notice the rash within a few days Following the outbreak of the rash on the face it begins to spread to the chest Cuts that have formed on face and body begin to turn into blisters and eventually into scabs during the healing process The virus may attack the eyes lungs throat heart andor liver and lead to death The first recorded smallpox outbreak occurred in 1350 BC during the Egyptian-Hittite war The illness was passed from Egyptian prisoners to the Hittite population affecting both soldiers and civilians Although it wasnt until the late 1600s that people in Europe and Asia accidentally discovered that those infected with smallpox through a scratch on the
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