Smallpox is a contagious, disfiguring, and often deadly disease that has affected human beings for thousands of years.
Naturally occurring it was eradicated worldwide in 1980 as a result of an unprecedented global vaccination campaign.
Some samples of it virus have to keep in laboratories for research purposes. It has led to some concern about the possibility of its use as a biological weapon in warfare.
There is no heal or treatment for it. A vaccine can stop smallpox, but the risk of side effects from the vaccine is too high to justify routine vaccination in people at low risk of exposure to the smallpox virus.
What are the Symptoms of Smallpox?
The first symptoms of it usually seem 10 to 14 days after contracting the infection. During the incubation period of 7 to 17 days, you feel healthy and cannot infect others.
After the incubation period, flu-like signs and symptoms suddenly appear. Some of them are:
- General discomfort
- Intense fatigue
- Severe back pain
- And also, Vomiting, possibly.
A few days later, flat red spots seem on the face, hands, and forearms, and later on the trunk. Some of these lesions turn into small blisters filled with clear fluid that turns into pus within a day.
The scabs begin to form eight to nine days later, and sooner or later, they fall off and leave deep, pitted scars. Lesions also appear on the mucous membrane of the nose and mouth and quickly turn into open sores.
What are the Causes of Smallpox?
Smallpox is the infection caused by its virus. This virus can transmit in different ways:
1. Directly from one Person to Another
- Direct transmission of the virus requires relatively prolonged face-to-face contact.
- The virus can transmit through the air by droplets that escape when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
2. Indirectly from an Infected Person
- In rare circumstances, the airborne virus can spread further, possibly through a building’s ventilation system, infecting people in other rooms or on different floors.
3. Through Contaminated Items
- It can also be spread through contact with infected clothing and bedding, although the risk of infection from these sources is less common.
4. Potentially as a Terrorist Weapon
- It is a remote threat that someone deliberately spreads smallpox.
- However, because any virus release could spread the disease rapidly, government officials have taken numerous precautions to protect the population against this possibility, for example, by stockpiling smallpox vaccines.
Types of Smallpox
- There were two standards and two rare forms of smallpox. The two common ways know as variola minor and variola major.
- Variola minor was a less fatal type of smallpox.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that only 1 per cent of those infected died. However, it was less common than variola major.
- The CDC estimates that 90 per cent of smallpox cases were variola major. Historically, this type of smallpox killed 30 per cent of those infected.
- The two rare forms of smallpox know as hemorrhagic and malignant. Both of these rare forms of smallpox carried a very high fatality rate.
- Hemorrhagic smallpox caused organs to leak blood into the mucous membranes and skin.
- Malignant it lesions did not develop into pimples or pus-filled bumps on the skin. Instead, they remained soft and flat throughout the entire illness.
Prevention of Smallpox
- In the event of an outbreak, people with smallpox would place in isolation to control the virus’s spread.
- Anyone in contact with someone who has contracted an infection would need to get the smallpox vaccine, which can prevent or lessen the disease’s severity if given within four days of exposure to its virus.
- The vaccine uses a live virus like smallpox and can occasionally cause serious complications, such as infections that affect the heart or brain.
- That is why it is not advisable to implement a general vaccination program for everyone at that time.
- In the non-appearance of an actual its outbreak, the potential risks of the vaccine outweigh the benefits.
- Certain antiviral medications may be effective against the agent that causes.
- However, these drugs have not tested in people who have it, do they not know if they are an effective treatment option.
Complications of Smallpox
Most people who get it survive. However, some rare varieties of smallpox are almost always fatal. These more severe forms affect pregnant women and people with impaired immune systems more often.
People recovering from it typically have severe scars, especially on the face, arms, and legs. In some cases, it can cause blindness.
Full or partial immunity after receiving it vaccine could last up to 10 years and up to 20 years if you got vaccinated again.
If an outbreak occurs, people who vaccinate as children should probably do so again after direct exposure to someone with the virus.
Diagnosis of Smallpox
- Whether it outbreak was to happen today, suitable most doctors would not be able to detect it in its early stages, which would allow the disease to spread.
- Even a single confirmed case of it would consider an international health emergency.
- The Centers for Disease Control and stop can do definitive tests using a tissue sample from one of the infected person’s skin lesions.
Treatment of Smallpox
There is no cure for it. In case of infection, treatment would focus on relieving symptoms and preventing the person from becoming dehydrated.
The person also involves a bacterial infection in the lungs or skin; they will likely be prescribed antibiotics.
There is no cure or treatment for smallpox. However, some rare varieties of it are almost always fatal.
The person also involves a bacterial infection in the lungs or skin, and they will likely be prescribed antibiotics.
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