What is the cause of smallpox?

Variola Virus. Smallpox is caused by the variola virus, which is a large dna virus that is rather contagious and easily transmissible from humans to humans.
The smallpox virus. Smallpox virus - also called poxvirus variolae - is the cause of smallpox. In the case of naturally occuring smallpox (ie. Not including bioterrorism) the virus can only be spread from another person with smallpox. No cases of smallpox have existed anywhere in the world since the late 1970's. In general, it is believed that the only possible cause of a new smallpox outbreak would be bioterrorism.

Related Questions

What disease is caused by the smallpox virus?

Smallpox. There were 2 clinical types of smallpox. Variola minor was less severe than Variola Major. Smallpox from Variola Minor had a death rate of 1% or less. 90% or > unvaccinated smallpox cases fell under the category of “ordinary Smallpox”. The overall fatality rate for Smallpox was 30%. Malignant (AKA flat) Smallpox made up 5 to 10% of cases, was usually fatal & mostly effected children. > Read more...

What kind of damage does smallpox cause?

Death, disfigureing. The case fatality rate for smallpox ran ~30% in most forms up to 100% in malignant forms. Dimed sized facial "pox" often left permanent reminders of those that survived the disease. Severe fever leading to being bedridden was common in the first wk.Since there have been no cases since 1977 & those only in the third world, few doctors now in practice have ever seen a case. Read more...