smallpox

What is smallpox?


Smallpox was once found throughout the world, causing illness and death wherever it occurred. It mainly affected children and young adults. Family members often infected each other.

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Smallpox

Smallpox (also called variola) is the only disease that has been completely wiped out throughout the world. Smallpox is also potentially one of the most devastating biological weapons ever conceived. Due to the success of an intense worldwide public health initiative, not one documented naturally occurring case of this highly infectious, deadly disease has occurred since October 26, 1977. (An unvaccinated hospital cook in Somalia was the last person to naturally contract smallpox.) The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared smallpox eradicated in 1980.

Smallpox

Smallpox is a disease caused by the Variola major virus. Some experts say that over the centuries it has killed more people than all other infectious diseases combined. Worldwide immunization stopped the spread of smallpox three decades ago. The last case was reported in 1977. Two research labs still house small amounts of the virus. Experts fear bioterrorists could use the virus to spread disease. Smallpox spreads very easily from person to person. Symptoms are flu-like and include high fever, fatigue and headache and backache, followed by a rash with flat red sores.

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Smallpox

Smallpox is a contagious, disfiguring and often deadly disease caused by the variola virus. Smallpox is believed to have been around for thousands of years. Few other illnesses have had such a devastating effect on human health and history.

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Smallpox

Smallpox is caused by a virus (variola virus) that may cause serious sickness or death. The last known case of smallpox that occurred naturally was in 1977. Routine vaccinations in the U.S. were stopped in 1972. The world was declared free of smallpox by the World Health Assembly in 1980.

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Smallpox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Smallpox is an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by ...

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CDC Smallpox Home

by WES Know

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WHO | Smallpox

Smallpox, which is believed to have originated over 3000 years ago in India or Egypt, is one of the most devastating diseases known to humanity. ...

Read more on www.who.int

What Is Smallpox?

You might be wondering what smallpox is and whether you or anyone you know is at risk for getting it. Get the answers to your questions in this article.

Read more on kidshealth.org

Smallpox-Treatment Overview

Jan 31, 2007 ... There is no cure for smallpox. Once symptoms develop, treatment consists of supportive medical care, including giving the person fluids to ...

Read more on www.webmd.com

The History of Smallpox

The history of smallpox is a success story for immunization and public health. Find out more about the rise and fall of smallpox.

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Contents

Complications
Although most people who get smallpox survive, variola major is fatal in about 30 percent of people who contract it. Almost no one survives the hemorrhagic and flat forms of the disease. People who recover from smallpox usually have severe scars, especially on the face, arms and legs. In some cases, smallpox may cause blindness.

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Exams and Tests
Tests include:DIC panel; Platelet count ; White blood cell count

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Medical advice
If you think you may have been exposed to smallpox, contact your health care provider immediately. Because smallpox has been wiped out this would be very unlikely, unless you have worked with the virus in a laboratory or there has been an act of bioterrorism.

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Outlook (Prognosis)
In the past, this was a major illness with the risk of death as high as 30%.

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Possible Complications
Arthritis and bone infections Brain swelling (encephalitis) Death Eye infections Pneumonia Scarring Severe bleeding Skin infections (from the sores)

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Prevention
Many people were vaccinated against smallpox in the past. The vaccine is no longer given to the general public because the virus has been wiped out. The possible complications and costs of the vaccine outweigh the benefits of taking it. However, according to the CDC, the United States currently has enough supplies of the smallpox vaccine for the entire population.

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Symptoms
Backache Delirium Diarrhea Excessive bleeding Fatigue High fever Malaise Raised pink rash -- turns into sores that become crusty on day 8 or 9 Severe headache Vomiting

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Tests and diagnosis
Even a single confirmed case of smallpox would be considered an international health emergency. Based on symptoms and appearance of the rash, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or a CDC Laboratory Response Network-designated variola testing laboratory can do definitive testing using a tissue sample taken from one of the lesions on the skin of the infected person.

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Treatments and drugs
No cure for smallpox exists. The smallpox vaccine can prevent or lessen the severity of the disease for some people if given within four days of infection. But vaccination doesn't help once signs and symptoms develop. For now, the best that doctors can offer people with symptomatic smallpox is supportive therapy and antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections.

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