Smallpox Symptoms: Small Signs You Cant Ignore

During the incubation period (7-17 days from exposure to the virus), smallpox symptoms are not unusual. After that time, the patient will have a high fever and extreme fatigue.

Smallpox is a disease caused by the variola virus. The disease is very contagious and spreads very quickly through direct contact and talk between sick and healthy people. Historically, this was once the most feared infectious disease because the number of patients who died reached an uncountable number.

Up to now, this disease has been completely eliminated because world medicine invented a vaccine against smallpox in 1979. However, the smallpox virus is still stored in 2 modern laboratories located in in the US and Russia for research purposes.

Smallpox vaccine is not widely recommended for use in immunization programs in many countries. That's because despite being able to fight the smallpox virus, this vaccine can also cause serious (but very rare) side effects. Even the smallpox vaccine can be fatal to immunocompromised people.

Smallpox symptoms

Previous medical literature suggested that, when someone was attacked by the smallpox virus in the early stages, the symptoms of smallpox were not obvious. The incubation period is also when the virus develops silently in the body. After this period, the patient will have signs that are easy to confuse with the flu such as:

Θ High fever

Θ Chills

Θ Headache

Θ Backache

Θ Colic

Θ Nausea and vomiting

Θ Extreme fatigue.

Smallpox Symptoms: Small Signs You Can't Ignore • SignsSymptomsList.com

Smallpox symptoms usually go away on their own within 2-3 days. After that, the patient feels better. However, as soon as the person begins to feel better, a rash will appear on the skin. The rash begins on the face, then spreads to the hands, forearms, and other body areas. This is also the infectious stage, spreading the virus most strongly into the air.

Within 2-3 days of appearance, the rash develops into an abscess filled with fluid and pus. Over time, the abscess dries, breaks open, and forms a scab. Eventually, the scabs fall off the patient's body, but the ability to infect others remains.

Types of smallpox

Smallpox comes in two forms, the common and the rare.

Popular form

With the common form, the disease has 2 types. Smallpox is caused by a virus in the same family as variola and smallpox is caused by the variola virus itself. Of these two types, viruses from the same family as variola are less likely to cause death than the other.

According to estimates by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 1% of people die when they are attacked by viruses from the same family as variola. Meanwhile, the mortality rate caused by variola itself is up to 30%.

The CDC also reports that up to 90% of severe smallpox symptoms are caused by the variola virus itself.

Rare form

With the rare form, smallpox has 2 types, hemorrhagic and malignant. Both types of the disease in this rare form have very high mortality rates.

Hemorrhagic smallpox causes the patient's internal organs to leak blood into the mucous membranes and skin. Meanwhile, malignant lesions do not cause common smallpox symptoms such as erythema, pus on the skin. Instead, the virus grows very silently inside the body and causes the person to die very quickly.

Smallpox treatment

Smallpox Symptoms: Small Signs You Can't Ignore • SignsSymptomsList.com

There is no cure for smallpox. Preventive vaccines can only help patients limit the serious effects of the disease.

Because the disease has been completely eliminated, the subjects most at risk of contracting the disease are the group of people who work and study the smallpox virus in the laboratory.


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