Document Sample
       By: Kristen Kaehler
What is it ???
  Smallpox is a contagious, disfiguring and often deadly
   disease caused by the variola virus.
  Once you're infected, the virus immediately begins
   replicating inside your cells — first in the lymph nodes and
   then in your spleen and bone marrow.
  Eventually, the virus settles in the blood vessels in your skin
   and the mucous membranes of your nose and throat.
  When the lesions in your mouth slough off, large amounts of
   virus are released into your saliva. This is when you're most
   likely to transmit the disease to others.
How is it spread?
  Smallpox usually requires face-to-face contact
   to spread. It's most often transmitted in air
   droplets when an infected person coughs,
   sneezes or talks. In rare instances, airborne
   virus may spread further, possibly through the
   ventilation system in a building, infecting
   people in other rooms or on other floors.
   Smallpox can also spread through contact with
   contaminated clothing and bedding, although
   the risk of infection from these sources is slight.
Two main types

  Variola minor
   Less fatal, less than I% of people
   who contract it actually die
  Variola major
    Kills one-third of people who
      contracted this disease
Rare forms
  Hermorrhagic smallpox
    Characterized by red, pinpoint rash and
     bleeding in the skin and mucous membrane.
    Almost always fatal within 3 to 4 days
  Flat smallpox
    Same as other forms of the disease, but the
     lesions never fill with pus. Skin appears
     rubbery. There is bleeding in the skin and
     intestinal tract.
Signs and symptoms
  During the incubation period of seven to 17 days, you
   look and feel healthy and can't infect others. The first
   symptoms of smallpox usually appear 12 to 14 days
   after you're infected.
  Following the incubation period, a sudden onset of flu-
   like signs and symptoms occurs. These include:
       Fever
       A feeling of bodily discomfort (malaise)
       Headache
       Severe fatigue (prostration)
       Severe back pain
       Sometimes vomiting, diarrhea or both
Rashes, Lesions and Pus
 A few days later, the characteristics small pox appears as flat, red
 Many of these lesions turn into small blisters filled with clear fluid
  (vesicles) and later, with pus (pustules).
 The rash appears first on your face, hands and forearms and later
  on the trunk. It's usually most noticeable on the palms of your
  hands and the soles of your feet. Lesions also develop in the
  mucous membranes of your nose and mouth. The way the lesions
  are distributed is a hallmark of smallpox and a primary way of
  diagnosing the disease.
 When the pustules erupt, the skin doesn't break, but actually
  separates from its underlying layers. The pain can be excruciating.
  Scabs begin to form eight to nine days later and eventually fall off,
  leaving deep, pitted scars. All lesions in a given area progress at
  the same rate through these stages. People who don't recover
  usually die during the second week of illness.
No cure for smallpox exists. There is some evidence
  that cidofovir — an antiviral medication normally used
  to treat an infection known as cytomegalovirus (CMV)
  — might prevent smallpox if it's given within a day or
  two of exposure.
The smallpox vaccine itself can prevent or lessen the
  severity of the disease if given within four days of
  infection. But neither of these is useful once signs and
  symptoms develop. For now, the best that doctors can
  offer people with symptomatic smallpox is supportive
  therapy and antibiotics to prevent secondary infections.
  Too bad… stupid WHO

 Smallpox vaccine
  In 1967, the WHO launched a global
  immunization campaign to eradicate smallpox.
  At that time, millions of people died of smallpox
  every year. The WHO's efforts were
  remarkably effective, and the last naturally
  occurring case of smallpox was reported in
  1977. In 1980, smallpox vaccinations were
  discontinued worldwide.
      Interesting facts

 The United States has enough vaccine to
  vaccinate everyone in the U.S.
 Stocks of smallpox virus, set aside for
  research purposes, are officially stored in
  two high-security labs — one in the
  United States and one in Siberia. This
  has lead to concerns that smallpox
  someday may be used as a biological
  warfare agent.
       More useless info
 Believed to be originated 3000 years ago in Egypt or
 In some ancient cultures, smallpox was such a major
  killer of infants that custom forbade the naming of a
  newborn until the infant had caught the disease and
  proved it would survive.
 Smallpox killed Queen Mary II of England, Emperor
  Joseph I of Austria, King Luis I of Spain, Tsar Peter II
  of Russia, Queen Ulrika Elenora of Sweden, and King
  Louis XV of France.
                 Fun Stuff
 Blindness was another complication. In 18th century
  Europe, a third of all reported cases of blindness was
  due to smallpox. In a survey conducted in Viet Nam in
  1898, 95% of adolescent children were pockmarked
  and nine-tenths of all blindness was ascribed to
 They used to confuse Chickenpox and smallpox.
 Animals do not carry this disease.
 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.
Baby Pictures

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