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Smallpox What does smallpox look like? • Fatal hemorrhagic smallpox in a twelve- year-old girl, 1970s, Bangladesh. Here, the eyes are filled with blood, and blood blisters form in the mouth and inside the body. Symptoms of smallpox • 7-17 days: infected • Not contagious person feels fine • Day 17+ fever 101- • Person is too sick to 104, tiredness, head carry on their normal and body aches, activities. vomiting. Smallpox in Illinois 1912 More symptoms • Rash, red spots on • Within 24 hours, rash tongue and in mouth. spreads to all parts of Later, rash starts on the body. face, arms, legs, hands, and feet. • Pustules crust and • Rash becomes raised scab. Within three “pustules” as if an weeks, the scabs will object were under the fall off. skin. More pictures of the outbreak How is it transmitted? • When a person in the middle days of infection breathes out, the air passes over the pustules in the mouth, the virus becomes airborne. Anyone who comes in contact with that water vapor could then be infected. • If the virus is in blankets or bedding shared, it is easily spread to others. Difference between smallpox and chicken pox • Chicken pox tends to break out near the torso and trunk of the body. • Smallpox, after the first 12 days, expand to outer extremities more. See hands and feet to the left. • http://www.idph.state.il.us /Bioterrorism/smallpoxchi ckenpox9.htm Why is smallpox fatal? • People can survive after contracting smallpox. The statistics vary depending on the type and severity of the cases. variola major =severe hemorrhaging -30% fatality rate variola minor= ordinary, not as severe -1% fatality rate Why is it fatal? • Patients die from smallpox due to secondary causes. – Fever and vomiting cause dehydration – Pustules become infected – Weakness from fever and lack of energy The first vaccinations the Tribal Messenger - smallpox Recent history • As a result of vaccination, the last outbreak in the US was in 1949. • The last known natural case was in Somalia in 1977. Since then, the only known cases were caused by a laboratory accident in 1978 in Birmingham, England, which killed one person and caused a limited outbreak. Smallpox was officially declared eradicated in 1979. Why Smallpox is a concern. • Because smallpox was wiped out many years ago, a case of smallpox today would be the result of an intentional act. Where is the virus today? • The virus is kept in two approved labs in the U.S. and Moscow, Russia. Some believe after the fall of the Soviet Union, South Korea and Iraq may have acquired some of the virus. • Concern exists today that the virus was made into a weapon by some countries and that terrorists may have obtained it.
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