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Smallpox: it's been plaguing mankind for thousands of years, and there is no cure.
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What is it?
Smallpox is an infectious, disfiguring disease caused by the Variola viruses. It's characterized by small, red rashes that eventually turn into blisters filled with pus. This disease is believed to have been responsible for killing more people over the centuries than any other infectious diseases combined.
Where is it located?
The date of smallpox's first appearance is unknown, although it's believed to have first emerged in its endemic form in India about 2,500-3,000 years ago. By the mid-18th century it had become a major endemic disease everywhere throughout the world except Australia. It was consistently killing about 400,000 people in Europe every year at the time. But thanks to advances in medicine and technology, smallpox was considered completely eradicated in 1980 according to the administration World Health Organization.
How will it kill you?
Smallpox is easily transmitted from one person to another. Not only does it cause pustules on your skin, but it also affects its victims with flu-like symptoms such as fever, fatigue, and body aches along with complications in your respiratory system. Lesions appear throughout the mucous membranes of your nose, eyes, and mouth which turn into sores that break open, causing infection, scarring, and even blindness. Overall, it has a fatality rate of about 30%.
How to survive:
Although there is no cure, vaccinations do exist to prevent infection. But its side effects are too high to justify a routine vaccination for those who are at low risk of exposure. For those that are already infected, supportive treatment is required in order to provide wound care and infection control as well as fluid therapy and possible ventilator assistance. The intravenous administration of the antiviral drug cidofovir has also been shown to be an effective therapeutic agent, although this can cause serious kidney toxicity.
Now what do you think is worse and why? Being bit by a rattlesnake? Or being bit by a black mamba?