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What is Smallpox

 The term “Smallpox” derives from a Latin term” Variola vera”, which in English means “pimple”. This is a highly transmittable disease, which is associated with weakness and fever. This disease usually affects skin. Pustules generally erupt on the surface of the skin in this disease. Sometimes, these postulates are filled with pus. Scars can emerge on the face of an infected person.

In earlier days, this lethal disease had taken the lives of many children and adults but the initiatives which were taken by World Health Organization completely eradicated this disease from this Earth.

Cause of Small Pox:

This lethal disease is caused by variola virus. This virus belongs to Orthopoxvirus genus and Poxviridae family. Though the virus of smallpox can infect any one of any age group, infants and children are more vulnerable to this disease. Variola minor and variola major are the two most lethal viruses of smallpox. Vaccinia, cowpox, monkeypox and variola are some of the common viruses that cause this disease. Human beings can only be infected by Variola virus whereas the rest of the other viruses can infect both animals and humans.

Transmission is another prominent cause of this disease. One person can be infected by an infected person. The droplets of the mouth and nose of an infected person can easily spread the virus of smallpox. The time when the rashes begin to develop is reckoned as the high time when the chance of being infected by the virus becomes very high.

Small Pox Symptoms:

If a person is infected by Variola major, he must have to face some severe symptoms. High fever and rash are the two most potent signs of this disease. However, sometimes, rashes may not appear on the skin and in that situation, it would become very tough to deduce whether a person is affected by this disease or not. The only indication will be the high fever that will start after the completion of incubation period.

When a person suffers from variola minor, he will face some mild symptoms. The presence of this virus becomes noticeable in blood, lymph nodes and bone marrow after twelve days of infection. At this time, the symptoms of smallpox may resemble with the symptoms of a common viral disease. Physical discomfort, headache, pains in muscles and high fever are some of the common signs that may appear at this point of time. One can experience nausea in this period if he is affected by this disease.

When the temperature of the body becomes normal, small reddish patches begin to appear on tongue, throat, palate and mouth. These spots begin to grow rapidly after few days and this is another potent symptom of smallpox. One can suffer from some other fatal diseases such as pneumonia and bronchitis. Some patients can experience problems in respiratory system. Permanent scars on face can appear as a result of this disease. An adult can be affected by encephalitis which is very common. Optic atrophy, iridocyclitis, corneal ulcer, keratitis, Conjunctivitis etc are some of other signs of this disease. These disease can lead to blindness. A patient can suffer from inflammation in joints that can cause deformity in limbs in near future.

Smallpox Treatment:

By taking the vaccine of smallpox, a person can thwart the progress of this disease or can reduce the severity of the symptoms of this disease. Proper care and maintaining a perfect guideline can help a patient to recuperate from this lethal disease as soon as possible. The affected parts of the skin should be clean with absolute care and caution should be taken so that the virus of this disease can spread. The ventilation system of the room should provide fresh air to the patient. Medications are not generally given to a patient because of the occurrence of some side effects. Cidofovir is a common antiviral medication that can generate better result in this disease. But this can also have some serious side effects. Fluid therapy and infection control are some of the common treatments which can generate better result.

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