Smallpox virus

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Smallpox virus. Section through many variola major viruses, showing the protein coat (yellow) and genetic material (red). These agents cause smallpox, a disease that was eradicated in 1980 through organized vaccination. Smallpox causes high fever and skinspots that quickly develop into scarring pustules. The virus is transmitted by coughed droplets or the pus from pustles of an infected person. Left untreated, it can have up to a 40% mortality rate due to complications such as pneumonia.

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