Essay about Smallpox: Smallpox and World Health Organization

Submitted By jhenderson2201
Words: 2362
Pages: 10

| Should the Vaccination for Smallpox be Available? | |

Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to discuss a definition of disease, information pertaining to a specific disease, and who the disease will primarily affect. We will then discover the contraction, symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment for the Variola virus, which is commonly referred to as smallpox. We will then explain the discovery and the history of the disease as well as the creation of the vaccination for smallpox. We will then discuss the stockpiles of the virus including the creation of new strains, the possibility of a bioterrorist attack, and the results of an outbreak. Afterwards we will look at the end result, to see whether or not a vaccination for the Variola virus should be available to the public.

There are many vaccinations that are mandatory and are given at birth to prevent exposure to different types of diseases. While some vaccinations are mandatory to prevent the spread of that disease, there are other vaccinations that are not required or even provided. Smallpox is one of the diseases that the vaccination is not provided. Disease is defined as “a state of functional disequilibrium that may be resolved by recovery or death. (Zelman, 2010) Smallpox affects populations worldwide and has had a long history with the human species. Almost every culture in the world has experienced the devastation that smallpox leaves behind; this is proven by the ongoing fear that an outbreak of smallpox may soon become a reality. Given the information concerning the effects and history of smallpox presented in this paper, the question arises as to if we should have the choice to be vaccinated for this disease.
Smallpox is classified as an infectious disease, infectious diseases are caused by a type of pathogen which grow and multiply within the body. Infectious diseases that can be transmitted directly from an infected human to a susceptible human are an example of horizontal transmission. Smallpox is caused by the exposure to the Variola virus. This virus is contracted by the inhalation of Variola virus particles. Lesions in the throat and mouth release large amounts of the virus into the saliva, which are then spread into the air by coughing, sneezing, and any other form of face to face contact.
Initial prodominal symptoms of smallpox are similar to other common viral diseases such as the influenza virus or the common cold. The symptoms of smallpox appear in stages over a number of days and begin with symptoms such as a fever of 101 to 104 degrees, malaise, head and body aches, and some vomiting. At this point, people are usually too sick and weak to carry on with normal everyday activity. The initial symptoms in this virus are known as the prodrome phase and can last on average for two to four days. Following the prodrome phase, then the rash begins to develop as small red spots on the tongue and in the mouth. These spots develop into sores that begin to break open and produce large amounts of the virus into the mouth and throat. At this point the infected person becomes most contagious. Once the sores in the mouth break down, a rash appears. “A characteristic rash, most prominent on the face, arms, and legs, follows in 2-3 days. The rash starts with flat red lesions that evolve at the same rate. Then, the lesions become pus-filled and begin to crust early in the second week. The scabs develop, separate and then fall off after 3-4 weeks.” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] FAQ, 2009. www.bt.cdc.gov). The last natural occurring case of smallpox was in Somalia in 1977. In 1980, the World Health Organization (WHO) certified that the world was free of smallpox. Since the initial symptoms and onset of the smallpox virus has similar symptoms to the influenza virus, a case of smallpox has to be clinically diagnosed. Once a clinical case of smallpox is observed, it has to be confirmed using laboratory tests. A blood test…