You are here

Smallpox

Smallpox

Smallpox is an infectious disease caused by the Variola virus that was succesfully eradicated in 1979. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, derived from varius ("spotted") or varus ("pimple"). The disease was originally known in English as the "pox" or "red plague"; the term "smallpox" was first used in Britain in the 15th century to distinguish variola from the "great pox" (syphilis). The last naturally occurring case of smallpox (Variola minor) was diagnosed in Somalia on 26 October 1977.

David Koelle, MD

Herpesviruses are a family of viruses that produce a variety of complications for patients. Some of these viruses can be very dangerous for immunocompromised patients and even promote the development of cancers.