Smallpox

1 What is Smallpox?

Smallpox is a contagious disease caused by virus. It was the reason for the deaths of several people over years.

Small pox was completely eradicated worldwide by 1980 as a result of global immunization campaign.

Samples of smallpox virus have been kept for research purposes.

No cure or treatment for smallpox exists. A vaccine which can prevent smallpox is present but has high levels of toxicity.

2 Symptoms

The first signs and symptoms of smallpox can be noticed after 12 to 14 days after getting infected.

It has an incubation period of 7 to 17 days. Following incubation, a sudden flulike symptom occurs.

These include:

A few days later flat, red spots appear first on face, hands and forearms and later on trunk. Within a day or two these lesions will turn into small blisters filled with clear fluid, which turns into pus.

Scabs begin to from eight to nine days later and eventually fall of leaving deep pitted scars.

3 Causes

Smallpox is caused by infection with variola virus. The virus can be transmitted: directly from person to person.

Direct transmission from person to person takes quite a lot of time. Virus can also be spread through air when infected person coughs or sneezes.

Indirectly from an infected person

Airborne virus can spread farther, possibility through the ventilation system of a building, infecting people in other rooms and other floors.

Contaminated items

Smallpox can spread through coming into contact with items which were contaminated. 

4 Making a Diagnosis

The center for disease control and prevention can do diagnostic test for smallpox using a tissue sample taken from the lesions of skin from infected person.

If there was smallpox outbreak to occur today, it is likely that most doctors wouldn’t recognize this this situation in its early stages. Which would allow disease to spread.

Even one confirmed case of smallpox would be a potential threat.

5 Treatment

As for now no cure for smallpox exists and in the event of infection treatment would focus on relieving symptoms and keeping the person from dehydrated.

If person also develops bacterial infections antibiotics will be prescribed.

6 Prevention

Prevention of smallpox mainly focuses on isolation of people during an event of outbreak to control the spread of virus.

Anyone who contacted with someone who developed an infection would need smallpox vaccine, which can prevent or lessen the severity of disease if given with four days of exposure to smallpox virus.

This vaccine uses a virus that is related to smallpox, and it can occasionally cause serious complications, such as infections affecting heart and brain. 

7 Alternative and Homeopathic Remedies

There are no known alternative and homeopathic remedies for smallpox.

8 Lifestyle and Coping

Lifestyle modifications are necessary in order to cope with smallpox.

Smallpox although is eliminated and not present currently.

Lifestyle changes which are required to be brought are drinking lot of water, living in hygienic conditions and it is recommended to be isolated so that the virus dose not spread.

Coping from smallpox infection takes some time but eventually the person can have normal lifestyle back.

9 Risks and Complications

There are several risks and complications associated with smallpox.

Most people who are infected with smallpox survive. However, few verities of smallpox are always fatal.

These more severe forms commonly affect pregnant women and people with impaired immune systems.

People who recover from smallpox have severe scars, especially on the face, arms and legs.

In some cases, smallpox may become the reason for blindness.

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