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Diseases & Topics


Smallpox is an acute, contagious, and sometimes fatal disease caused by a virus, and marked by fever and a distinctive progressive skin rash. Following worldwide vaccination programs, the disease was declared eradicated in 1980. However, in the aftermath of terrorist attacks in the United States in September and October, 2001, the federal government and state governments took precautions to be ready in case there is a bioterrorist attack using smallpox as a weapon. There is a detailed nationwide smallpox response plan designed to quickly vaccinate people and contain a smallpox outbreak, and the government has vaccine to carry out the plan.

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