A vaccine preventable illness
Identification and definition
History of Smallpox
Signs and Symptoms of Smallpox
Incubation Period: No symptoms and person may feel fine. Incubation period averages about 12-14 days, but can range 7-17 days. Person is not contagious at this time.Initial symptoms: Fever, head and body aches, and sometimes vomiting. Fever is usually 101-104 degrees Fahrenheit. Usually lasts 2-4 days. The person is sometimes contagious.
Early Rash: Appears first as small red spots on the tongue and in the mouth. The spots develop into sores that break open and spreads the virus into the mouth and throat, at this time the person is most contagious. When the sores in the mouth break open, a rash appears on the skin, starting on the face and spreading to the arms and legs then to the hands and feet. The rash spreads to all parts of the body within 24 hours. By day three the rash becomes raised bumps, by the fourth day the bumps fill with a thick, opaque fluid and usually have a depression in the center that looks like a bellybutton and fever often will rise again at this time and remain high until scabs form over the bumps. The duration of this stage is about 4 days and the most contagious.
Pustular Rash: The bumps become pustules- they are sharply raised, usually around and firm to touch. (People often say the bumps feel like BB pellets in the skin.) Duration is usually about 5 days and the person is contagious.
Pustules and Scabs: The pustules begin to form a crust and then scab. By the end of the second week after the rash appears, most sores are scabbed over. The person can be contagious.
Scabs Resolved: Scabs have fallen off. Person is no longer contagious.
Transmission of Smallpox
Complications of Smallpox
- Eye problems
Recommended Control Measures for Smallpox
Man with smallpox
Upper left: day 4 of eruption; Upper right: day 8 of eruption; Lower left: day 11 crusting; Lower right: Scarring after recovery