The Smallpox Virus

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The particular weapon or better yet biological microorganism that I have chosen to outline this week is that of a particularly nasty strain of disease which has wiped out an unknown multitude of people throughout history. This infectious disease, known as the genus Orthopoxvirus, from the the family Poxviridae and subfamily of chordopoxvirinae, is potentially believed to have laid to waste whole civilizations of people. It also goes by the name “Red Plague”, or in more common parlance, “The Smallpox Virus.” Historically, this virus made its way to Europe sometime between the 5th and 7th centuries. According to Reidel (2005), “It was frequently epidemic during the Middle Ages. Smallpox continued to be a problem throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, affecting populations on a large scale.” It was one of the primary annihilator’s of the native indigenous population of the Americas during the first arrivals of the Europeans who brought it with them. One notable incident which many believe led to a severe outbreak of the smallpox amongst various Indian tribes in the Ohio Valley in 1763 was the case of the British Army giving away blankets from a pox hospital with the hopes of passing the disease onto the Indians they were fighting. Gill (2004) shares purported correspondence between two British officers with the following:…show more content…
We must, on this occasion, Use Every Stratagem in our power to Reduce them." He ordered the extirpation of the Indians and said no prisoners should be taken. About a week later, he wrote to Bouquet: "You will Do well to try to Innoculate the Indians by means of Blanketts as well as to try Every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable

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