By Manuel Cereijo


Smallpox is caused by a virus. The virus spread when an uninfected person comes in direct contact with a sick person and breath in the virus. After two weeks, the incubation period of the smallpox virus, the infected person develops high fever, muscles aches, and pains.

After about three days of fever, the person breaks out in a rash all over the body. At first it looks like red spots, and the spots gradually become blisters about the size of a pencil eraser. After about five days of rash, the fluid in the clear blisters turns to pus. The more pus spots that a person has, the more likely the person will die.

There are two main types of small pox virus: variola major, which kills about 35% of the people infected, and variola minor, which kills about 15% of its victims.The disease was completely eradicated from earth by 1977. Today, the smallpox virus exist only in two freezers, one in Moscow, Russia, and the other in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.

There is evidence that certain countries may have harvested smallpox for use in weapons, threatening to revive a plague for which vaccines are no longer produced. Ironically, the danger smallpox would pose to a targeted population stems in part from the success medical science has enjoyed in battling the virus.

Smallpox is unlike anthrax, very contagious.New intelligence assessment on countries doing research and development on the smallpox virus yields: Russia, Iraq, North Korea, Cuba.

A virus's effectiveness as a weapon can be measured by its mortality rate, which reflects the number of people to contract the disease after exposure. Smallpox kills between 35% to 55% of unvaccinated persons, but its morbidity rate ranges from 70 to 90 %. Those who do not die, can be permanently blinded. Others will bear scars as long as they live. Smallpox, unlike anthrax, requires no concentration process. It is, like anthrax, one of the most effective and lethal bioweapons in existence

In the early development of Cuba's biotechnological program, ( 1992), Cuba purchased from Russia large industrial fermentation vessels. Cuba, later on, acquired the technology to build its own vessels. These are essential in the development of the smallpox virus.

Smallpox virus particles can be disseminated with aerosols, much more effective than anthrax. Fewer than five viral particles of smallpox are sufficient to infect a person. To infect a person with anthrax, deadly, some 10,000 spores are required.. Spraying the virus in concentrated crowded places, such as: trains, airplanes, shopping centers, arenas, stadiums. Remember: no treatment for smallpox, except the vaccine.

There are only 7.5 millions vaccines presently available in the United States, and 7.5 millions in Russia. However, even if they are produced in larger quantities, by dilution or development or more vaccines, the threat is that these terrorist countries, with a large biotechnological industry-Iraq, Cuba- have developed the smallpox virus with ebola, which not only makes the bioweapon more deadly, but renders the vaccine useless.

We are facing a new dangerous wave of attacks: smallpox and asymmetrical nuclear weapons. This why we should respond relentlessly and thoroughly to terrorism.


Manuel Cereijo

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