So-called to distinguish the disease from syphilis, the great pox (pox being the plural of pock, the Old English term for a PUSTULE), is also known as variola (from varus, the Latin for pimple). It is an acute, highly infectious disease due to a virus. Once it was one of the major killing diseases; however, in the 1960s the World Health Organisation undertook an eradication scheme by means of mass VACCINATION. As a result, the last naturally occurring case was recorded in October 1977, and on 8 May 1980 the World Health Assembly conﬁrmed that smallpox has ﬁnally been eradicated from the world.
Article Categories:Medical Dictionary