Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Smallpox could return as Siberia's melting permafrost exposes ancient graves

From the Independent -

last known case of the deadly disease was in Somalia in 1977, but Russian scientists investigating an anthrax outbreak have found the virus's DNA in corpses once entombed in the frozen ground.

Smallpox – a deadly disease eradicated from the world in 1977 – could return as the frozen tundra of Siberia melts and releases the virus from the corpses of people who died in a major epidemic about 120 years ago, experts have warned.

The disease was once one of the most feared in the world. Up to 30 per cent of people who caught it would die, according to the World Health Organisation, after experiencing symptoms including a high fever and the characteristic pus-filled spots.

Spores of potentially fatal anthrax from dead people and reindeer that had been entombed in the permafrost are already thought to have infected 24 patients currently in hospital in Salekhard near Russia’s north coast.

But health experts told the Siberian Times this was a warning sign that there could be worse to come.

The full article can be read here.

No comments:

Post a Comment