from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. See smallpox.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. smallpox
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The smallpox.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The pustular apothecium occurring on certain lichens.
- n. Smallpox; a specific contagious disease characterized by an eruption of papules, becoming vesicular and then pustular, and attended by high fever, racking pains in the head and spine, and severe constitutional disturbance.
- n. [capitalized] [NL. (Swainson, 1839).] A genus of fishes
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a highly contagious viral disease characterized by fever and weakness and skin eruption with pustules that form scabs that slough off leaving scars
The term variola is from the Latin varus, a pimple.
Smallpox, caused by a virus called variola, was declared eliminated in 1980 after a global vaccination campaign.
Smallpox virus (scientific name variola major) would be a "good" biological warfare agent because it is unusually robust, can be disseminated through the air as an inhalable aerosol to infect people over a large area, and -- unlike anthrax -- is contagious from one person to another.
The Latin name variola, like the English pox, was applied indiscriminately to syphilis, small-pox, chicken-pox, etc.
That's because two large government laboratories, one in the U.S. and one in Russia, insist on maintaining stocks of the smallpox virus called variola.
Others, however, warn that labeling possession of the virus a crime against humanity will in no way deter terrorists, and that without the live smallpox virus, called variola, we won't be able to prepare for the worst.
Luckilly, I was able to get a hold of some variola before the bad men in government started to make it extinct.
European Pressphoto Agency Professor Frank Fenner in 2006 Mr. Fenner, an Australian virologist who died Monday at age 95, led the commission that verified that the World Health Organization ' s decadelong assault on the variola virus had been a success.
It also led Mr. Fenner to study the related variola virus that causes smallpox.
Officially, there are only two samples of variola left on earth -- one in Russia, one in the United States -- but few experts doubt that when the Soviet empire dissolved in the early '90s, samples found their way into the hands of potential terrorists.