By: Sy'Vanna Bartlett

Smallpox Background Information

Smallpox is an infectious disease caused by the variola virus. It is very contagious but can only be transmitted through humans. It can be spread by direct contact with an infected person and through direct contact with infected bodily fluids. Another way for smallpox to be transmitted is through contaminated clothes or objects.

Symptoms of Smallpox

The first symptoms of smallpox are fever, headache, severe fatigue, vomiting, severe back pain, and just overall discomfort. After you have received these symptoms a few days later you will see red spots on your face, hands, and arms. The red spots will then turn into small blisters that contain clear fluid(pus). After about 8-9 days scabs will form and eventually fall off leaving deep pitted scars. Some times after a person has small they are left with permanent scars on their face, hands, or arms.

Treatments for Smallpox

There is no cure real for the smallpox disease. The treatments for smallpox is relieving the symptoms and preventing the person from becoming dehydrated. You may be prescribed antibiotics if a bacterial infection develops on your skin or in your lungs.

Ways to Prevent Smallpox

One of the best ways to prevent getting smallpox is to have your smallpox vaccination. Unfortunately the smallpox vaccine could cause some complications that can cause infections in your heart or brain, but it is rare. Another way to prevent getting smallpox is to stay away from a person that has smallpox, and to not get in contact with objects such as clothes that are contaminated with the smallpox disease. You should not put yourself in a situation to get smallpox because the disease can be fatal and cause death in rare cases. This has only been a problem for pregnant women and/or people with weak or impaired immune systems.

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!Fun Facts!

1) In 1976 a doctor named Edward Jenner did experiments on how to prevent smallpox, that led to the smallpox vaccination.

2) The variola virus( virus that causes smallpox) only affects humans and not animals nor insects.

3) A person with smallpox is contagious until every single scab has fallen off.

4) The variola virus could be used as a terrorist attack like the Anthrax Scare, so the labs that contain the virus are guarded.

5) CDC estimates that between 14-52 out 1 million people that have the smallpox vaccine for the first time will have potentially life threatening complications.

Edward Jenner and smallpox