Small pox is a disease caused by a virus. It is highly contagious, and often life threatening. Between the 18th and 20th century, small pox caused a lot of deaths. Finally after extensive vaccinations in the 19th and 20th century by WHO, smallpox was declared to be irradicated in 1979. It is the only human disease to have been completely irradicated.
However, many people believe that Smallpox may be used in the future for biological warfare or terrorism, and it is essential for us to know about this disease.
Small pox is spread through droplets in the infected person's saliva. It is spread by coughing, talking or sneezing. Small pox is also spread by close face to face contact with an infected person. It can also be spread through clothing, or other objects that have come in contact with the body fluids of the infected person.
Rash : It is characterized by a raised pink rash filled with fluid. This eventually becomes crusty and falls off.
Fever: Fever greater than 101 degree F is often seen.
Myalgia: Fatigue and muscle pain
Diahorrhea and Vomiting is caused by the involvement of the digestive tract
Ordinary: the pustules stand out on the skin.The symptoms are described above.
Modified: Seen in people who have been previously vaccinated. It is a very mild form and patients do not have fever
Malignant: it is usually fatal. The lesions are flat and seem to be buried in the skin.
Hemorrhagic: This type is associated with excessive bleeding and this can also cause death.
Small pox can also result in many medical complications which have lifelong implications. Some of them are described below.
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