As a technologist, I must learn the nature of different pathogens, even those that do not bother people today. This knowledge helps me predict the development of dangerous diseases and recognize symptoms fast. Many microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa provoke mutations and diseases (Jensen & Peppers, 2006). Some pathogens are thoroughly investigated, and some organisms are forgotten and neglected. The World Health Organization declared the eradication of smallpox at the end of the 20th century, which reduced the need for vaccination but increased the threat of its accidental release (Melamed, Israely, & Paran, 2018). Still, this disease is characterized by severe symptoms like fever and a rash, and new forms of vaccination may be required soon.
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Smallpox is usually caused by the variola virus that contains large DNA genomes. This pathogen belongs to the family Proxviridae, the subfamily Chordopoxvirinae, and the genus Orthopoxvirus (Melamed et al., 2018). During face-to-face or physical contact, the variola virus is transmitted from an infectious individual via salvia airborne droplets into the nasal or oral membranes. The virus affects the respiratory tract along with infection of the mouth or lung mucosa. As this pathogen causes smallpox in humans only, pathogenesis research remains limited.
Jensen, S. C., & Peppers, M. P. (2006). Pharmacology and drug administration for imaging technologists (2nd ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier.
Melamed, S., Israely, T., & Paran, N. (2018). Challenges and achievements in prevention and treatment of smallpox. Vaccines, 6(1).