LONDON SCHOOL OF HYGIENE & TROPICAL MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LONDON SCHOOL OF HYGIENE & TROPICAL MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of the smallpox virus (medical name Variola), which causes high fever & spots that quickly develop into pustules. The virus is transmitted by droplets of sputum (coughed up saliva & mucus) or pus from the skinpocks of an infected person. Most patients recover, although complications such as pneumonia may prove fatal. An attack confers near lifelong immunity. Immunization has all but eradicated the disease, although pockets of resistance remain. This specimen is from one of the last English patients. Magnification: x40,000 at 6x4.5cm size.
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