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Smallpox

Category: Illness or disabilities

Type

Involuntary

Introduction and description

Smallpox is/was an infectious disease unique to humans.  It is/was a viral infection

After vaccination campaigns throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the WHO certified the eradication of smallpox in 1979. Smallpox is one of the two infectious diseases to have been eradicated, the other being rinderpest, which was declared eradicated in 2011.

The disease killed an estimated 400,000 Europeans per year during the closing years of the 18th century (including five reigning monarchs), and was responsible for a third of all blindness. Of all those infected, 20%–60%—and over 80% of infected children—died from the disease.

Smallpox was responsible for an estimated 300–500 million deaths during the 20th century. As recently as 1967, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 15 million people contracted the disease and that two million died in that year.

Most people have become quite complacent about smallpox, thinking the threat has largely passed, but I would like you to read the observation entitled Chemical and Biological weapon hallucinations, which makes for very chilling reading.

Symptoms

Smallpox virus preferentially attacks skin cells, causing the characteristic pimples associated with the disease.

A rash develops on the skin 24 to 48 hours after lesions on the mucous membranes appear. Typically the macules first appear on the forehead, then rapidly spread to the whole face, proximal portions of extremities, the trunk, and lastly to distal portions of extremities.

The process takes no more than 24 to 36 hours, after which no new lesions appear.  The incubation period between contraction and the first obvious symptoms of the disease is around 12 days. 

There are two clinical forms of smallpox.

  • V. major  - is a more serious disease and has an overall mortality rate of 30–35%.   Variola major is the severe and most common form, with a more extensive rash and higher fever.
    Once inhaled, variola major virus invades the oropharyngeal (mouth and throat) or the respiratory mucosa, migrates to regional lymph nodes, and begins to multiply. In the initial growth phase the virus seems to move from cell to cell, but around the 12th day, lysis of many infected cells occurs and the virus is found in the bloodstream in large numbers, and a second wave of multiplication occurs in the spleen, bone marrow, and lymph nodes.
    The initial symptoms are similar to other viral diseases such as influenza and the common cold: fever of at least 38.5 °C (101 °F), muscle pain, malaise, headache and prostration. As the digestive tract is commonly involved, nausea and vomiting and backache often occur. The prodrome, or preeruptive stage, usually lasts 2–4 days. By days 12–15 the first visible lesions—small reddish spots called enanthem—appear on mucous membranes of the mouth, tongue, palate, and throat, and temperature falls to near normal. These lesions rapidly enlarge and rupture, releasing large amounts of virus into the saliva.
    Long-term complications of V. major infection include characteristic scars, commonly on the face, which occur in 65%–85% of survivors. Blindness resulting from corneal ulceration and scarring, and limb deformities due to arthritis and osteomyelitis are less common complications, seen in about 2%–5% of cases.
  • V. minor  - causes a milder form of disease (also known as alastrim, cottonpox, milkpox, whitepox, and Cuban itch) which kills about 1% of its victims.  Variola minor is a less common presentation, and a much less severe disease

Death from smallpox usually followed complications such as bacterial infection of the open skin lesions, pneumonia, or bone infections. A very severe and quickly fatal form of hemorrhoagic smallpox resulted in massive, uncontrollable bleeding (haemorrhage) from the skin lesions, as well as from the mouth, nose, and other areas of the body. Death from smallpox (variola minor) ranged up to about 35%, with the more severe, hemorrhagic form (variola major) nearly 100% fatal.

Cause

Smallpox was caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"

Treatment

Once caught there was no cure for smallpox, thus the only way of handling it was by prevention. Treatment for smallpox was only palliative: relief of pain and suffering. No treatments were ever found to halt the progress of the disease.

Avoidance of infected areas - It was virtually impossible to avoid smallpox virus if you were in an area in which it had taken hold.  Transmission occurred through inhalation of airborne droplets expressed from the oral, nasal, or pharyngeal mucosa of an infected person. It was transmitted from one person to another primarily through prolonged face-to-face contact with an infected person, usually within a distance of 6 feet (1.8 m), but could also be spread through direct contact with infected bodily fluids or contaminated objects such as bedding or clothing. Smallpox has been spread by virus carried in the air in enclosed settings such as buildings, buses, and trains.

The virus could be transmitted throughout the course of the illness, but was most frequent during the first week of the rash, when most of the skin lesions were intact. Infectivity waned in 7 to 10 days when scabs formed over the lesions, but the infected person was contagious until the last smallpox scab fell off.

Vaccine - Smallpox is a marvellous example of the balancing act that has to take place when vaccines are used.  Smallpox was so deadly and so horrific in its symptoms that very few questioned the use of the vaccine - benefits far outweighed any risks, but as we will see there were risks associated with vaccine use and still are.

The current formulation of smallpox vaccine is a live virus preparation of infectious vaccinia virus. The vaccine is given using a bifurcated (two-pronged) needle that is dipped into the vaccine solution. The needle is used to prick the skin (usually the upper arm) a number of times in a few seconds. If successful, a red and itchy bump develops at the vaccine site in three or four days. In the first week, the bump becomes a large blister which fills with pus, and begins to drain. During the second week, the blister begins to dry up and a scab forms. The scab falls off in the third week, leaving a small scar.

Neutralizing antibodies are detectable 10 days after first-time vaccination, and seven days after revaccination. Historically, the vaccine has been effective in preventing smallpox infection in 95% of those vaccinated. Smallpox vaccination provides a high level of immunity for three to five years and decreasing immunity thereafter. If a person is vaccinated again later, immunity lasts even longer. Studies of smallpox cases in Europe in the 1950s and 1960s demonstrated that the fatality rate among persons vaccinated less than 10 years before exposure was 1.3%; it was 7% among those vaccinated 11 to 20 years prior, and 11% among those vaccinated 20 or more years prior to infection. By contrast, 52% of unvaccinated persons died.

But, there are side effects and risks associated with the smallpox vaccine. In the past, about 1 out of 1,000 people vaccinated for the first time experienced serious, but non-life-threatening, reactions including toxic or allergic reaction at the site of the vaccination, spread of the vaccinia virus to other parts of the body, and to other individuals. Potentially life-threatening reactions occurred in 14 to 500 people out of every 1 million people vaccinated for the first time. But times are changing.  It appears that the shear number of viruses, especially viruses exhibiting latency [and thus those which have to be continually fought by the immune system] being used in vaccines and the large number of vaccinations a child has to endure, are tipping the scales

To quantify the population at risk of serious adverse reactions to replicating smallpox vaccine…….  An estimated 48,121,280 to 50,028,045 individuals (15.2-15.8% of the U.S. population) are potentially contraindicated to replicating smallpox vaccine. This rises to 119,244,531 to 123,669,327 (37.4-38.8%) if household contacts are included……………  These figures are significant and larger than the only previously published study. Understanding this number allows for improved clinical utilization, equitable attention to the health needs of a vulnerable population, and strategic vaccine stockpiling.  PMID:  27739111

not only is this vaccine associated with eczema, and is contra-indicated in anyone with eczema, it is causing deaths. 

This pattern can be seen in a number of other vaccines, there are some individuals who get encephalitis or react - speculatively because they are either immunocompromised individuals or because they have been given a large number of live viruses to fight all at once. More details can be found in the section on vaccines.

How it works

 Smallpox  produces very high fevers with greatly increased temperatures.

The fever is actually a protective mechanism by the body in its attempt to kill off the virus with heat, but as the body dilates the blood vessels in an attempt to dissipate the heat,  low blood pressure can result from the dilated blood vessels and produce hypoxia.  Thus in the observations that I have found it appears that the three principal mechanisms of spiritual experience are:

References and further reading

Public Health Nurs. 2016 Oct 13. doi: 10.1111/phn.12291. [Epub ahead of print] Estimating the Size of the U.S. Population at Risk of Severe Adverse Events from Replicating Smallpox Vaccine. Carlin EP1, Giller N2, Katz R3.

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