malignant smallpox

va·ri·o·la ma·lig·na

malignant smallpox, usually of the hemorrhagic form.
Synonym(s): malignant smallpox

malignant smallpox

An almost invariably fatal form of smallpox characterised by lesions that did not develop pustules but remained soft and flat.
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Causes of death include generalized viremia in which the virus spreads and overwhelms the body's systems, malignant smallpox progression in which distinct lesions enlarge until they coalesce and cover the body, hemorrhagic disease in which extensive viral replication leads to coagulopathy, and encephalitis in which the virus attacks the brain.
Then, signs of malignant smallpox set in: high fever, chills, body aches, and vomiting--most people are too sick to get out of bed.

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