Deadly virus discovery, spread from livestock

Cape Town – The US centres for disease control has discovered a new orthopoxvirus, similar to smallpox in a small town in Georgia in western Asia, it is believed that the disease has spread from livestock.

It is estimated that smallpox, before it was eradicated killed close to 500 million people in the 20th century.

The virus was eradicated worldwide through aggressive vaccination campaigns.

According to a report on Live Science the discovery in Georgia suggests that this new virus is a cousin or relative to the smallpox virus and other similar viral agents including: Monkeypox, cowpox and vaccinia.

The two infected men are stable and currently being monitored to ensure that they do not spread or infect others with the disease.

According to Dr Nile Vora, the infected herdsmen had daily contact with various different kinds of livestock.

The two men presented various symptoms including blisters, swollen lymph nodes and a heavy fever.

Dr Vora believes that the new virus, like smallpox has the potential to be a bioterrorism threat or agent.

Another concern is the potential for viruses to spread from animals to humans.

According to Dr Vora the new poxvirus spread to the two Georgian men from the livestock they were attending to.

More research is being conducted on the new virus and the its potential to spread from one human to the next.
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