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An Essay On Smallpox.

812 words - 3 pages

Smallpox.Smallpox is an infectious disease. Smallpox is an acute contagious disease caused by Variola virus, it is a member of the orthopoxvirus family. It was one of the world's most feared diseases until it was eradicated by a collaborative global vaccination programme led by the World Health Organization. (www.who.int/emc/diseases/smallpox/)Although there has been no recent accounts of it that doesn't mean that is not important. Smallpox is highly contagious as well as infectious it has no specific treatment and the only prevention is vaccination. Smallpox was really around during the 17-1800's. The skin rash that develops on the face, chest, back, and limbs characterizes the disease. After about a week the rash resembles pustular pimples (pus-filled) that resembles boils. (Christopher King 97-04)There are 3 main ways of getting smallpox:1) Prolonged face to face contact with some one who has smallpox2) Direct contact with infected bodily fluids and or objects such as bleeding or clothing.3) Exposure to an aerosol release of smallpox (www.cdc.goc/smallpox)It is some times confused with chicken pox but it is actually located in the chest and abdomen area. But smallpox is more condensed in the face, legs, and arms. (CDC2004) The scientific name for "smallpox" is variola, from the Latin word meaning "spotted". The virus isbelieved to kill anywhere from 20-40% of the people infected with the virus. On the other handVariola minor produces milder symptoms and is fatal in around 1 percent of its cases. There are seven stages of the smallpox disease:1. Incubation Period Duration:The duration of this period is 7- 17 Days at this point the virus is non-contagiousExposure to the virus is followed by an incubation period during which people don't have any symptoms and may feel may feel fine. These incubation period averages about 12-14 days but can range from 7-17 days.2. Initial Symptoms Prodrome:The duration of the second period is 2-4 days but it's not always contagiousThe first symptoms of smallpox include fever, malaise, head & body aches, and sometimes vomiting. The fever is usually high, in the range of 101-104 F. At this time people are usually too sick to carry their normal activities.This is called Prodrome phase3. Early Rash Duration:The third period is the most dangerous period because this is when people are most contagious it usually lasts 4 days.A rash emerges first as small red spots on the tongue...

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