Causes Of Smallpox: Symptoms, Treatment And Prevention Of Smallpox

Question: Causes Of Smallpox, what is Smallpox, symptoms of Smallpox, Smallpox treatment.

Answer: Smallpox has been eradicated from the world, through the W.H.O initiated vaccine program.

On the slightest suspicion of a case of smallpox, the community medical authorities must be notified immediately.

Causes Of Smallpox

Smallpox is an infectious disease caused by variola group of virus, they are variola major and variola minor. The variola major causes a highly infectious and frequently fatal disease, which spreads by droplet infection from the respiratory tract, or by the contamination with material from the skin lesions. Variola minor is milder variety of smallpox, having same symptoms and mode of spread like variola major, but it is seldom fatal.

The incubation period of smallpox is 12 days. And the quarantine period is 18 days.

Symptoms Of Smallpox

When the virus invades the body through the mouth and throat it multiplies in the lymphatic system of the body. After 12 days the actual viremia occurs and its prodromal or initial symptoms are similar to any viral disease like influenza.

  • Malaise, shivering, frontal headache, pain in the back, sore throat, cough, hoarseness of voice.
  • The erythematous rash is some times observed, but petichial or purpuric rash is not a good sign and often it turns to be fatal.
  • On 2nd or 3rd day of the illness, characteristic skin eruptions of smallpox appear.
  • Diagnosis is confirmed on the order of development and distribution of the lesions.
  • Now the pimple like eruption called macules appear first on the forehead and the wrist, then arms and the trunk and lastly on the legs. The axilla in particular in spared of the lesions.
  • The density of the rash is greater on the face and the limbs.
  • Macules now turn to deep dark papules in matter of hours.
  • The papule will convert to hardened vesicles in
  • After 2 days the vesicles turn into pustules.
  • The pustules then dry up after 8 to 9 days to leave deep scars or pockmarks.

Complications Of Smallpox

  • Heart and circulatory failure may occur if the patient is toxaemic.
  • Pneumonia and bronchitis.
  • Convulsions.
  • Corneal ulcer and blindness.

Treatment For Smallpox

  • General nursing care is the essence of treatment.
  • Prevention of secondary infection by taking special care in the hygiene of mouth and of the skin is of importance.
  • Appropriate antibiotics may be needed if there is secondary infection.
  • The patient is no longer infectious when the last scab of smallpox is shed.

Home remedies for smallpox patient

  • Garlic, black cohos, goldenseal are few home remedies that can be tried.

Prevention Of Smallpox

  • Effective vaccination program
  • Isolation of patients and quarantine of contacts.
  • Vaccination of contacts.

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