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Doctor insights on: Smallpox

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Dr. Heidi Fowler
133 doctors shared insights

Smallpox (Overview)

An infectious disease caused by viruses Variola Major and Variola Minor that was a significant cause of death before being eradicated in 1979.


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How does smallpox spread?

How does smallpox spread?

Person to person: Contact with infectious material from an person with smallpox is how this was passed. There are no insects or animals that spread the germ. Since there has been no cases since 1977, we only hear about this from people worried it may resurface as a bioterror weapon. ...Read more

Dr. Heidi Fowler
133 doctors shared insights

Smallpox (Overview)

An infectious disease caused by viruses Variola Major and Variola Minor that was a significant cause of death before being eradicated in 1979.


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Are there any medications that can treat smallpox symptoms?

Are there any medications that can treat smallpox symptoms?

See below: No cure for smallpox exists. Treatment would focus on relieving symptoms and keeping the person from becoming dehydrated. Antibiotics may be prescribed if the person also develops a bacterial infection in the lungs or on the skin. ...Read more

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How did they do the eradication of smallpox?

Circles of vaccine: The virus is never asymptomatic and has no animal or insect hosts and the vaccine is heat stable, not needing a cold chain. At the end, as each case in asia or africa was discovered, all of the people around the index case were immunized. ...Read more

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What are the tests for smallpox?

What are the tests for smallpox?

None: Smallpox was eradicated in 1979. There were non-specific blood tests. The diagnosis was made based on the rash and the clinical picture as well as the knowledge of an outbreak. ...Read more

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How would I know if I had caught smallpox?

Dreadfull illness: Adults with smallpox were dreadfully ill within days, bedridden with high fever and loss of energy. Since no wild cases have occurred in the US since 1949 and worldwide since 1977 you are not likely to catch this in your lifetime. See the CDC website for specific details. www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/smallpox/index.asp. ...Read more

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What is the cause of smallpox?

Variola Virus: Smallpox is caused by the variola virus, which is a large dna virus that is rather contagious and easily transmissible from humans to humans. ...Read more

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How is smallpox treated ?

Smallpox tx.: A Smallpox patient should be isolated in a negative-pressure room until all scabs have fallen off. Provide intravenous or oral hydration wi electrolyte/ fluid monitoring. The person should be vaccinated as soon as possible after exposure. Wound care is important. Use ventilatory support if required. Although there is no specific medication for Smallpox, cidofovir (antiviral) amy be helpful. > ...Read more

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What is the best treatment for smallpox?

Smallpox: The WHO announced World-wide eradication of Smallpox on May 8 1980. Smallpox has no animal reservoirs. So Smallpox would not return naturally.A Smallpox patient should be isolated in a negative-pressure room until all scabs have fallen off. Provide intravenous or oral hydration wi electrolyte/ fluid monitoring. The person should be vaccinated as soon as possible after exposure. Wound care is > ...Read more

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How can you cure smallpox?

Smallpox: The WHO announced World-wide eradication of Smallpox on May 8 1980. Smallpox has no animal reservoirs. So Smallpox would not return naturally. A Smallpox patient should be isolated in a negative-pressure room until all scabs have fallen off. Provide intravenous or oral hydration wi electrolyte/ fluid monitoring. The person should be vaccinated as soon as possible after exposure. Wound care is ...Read more

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Small pox vaccine scar even though born in the 90's (and 89), why is this and can I get rid of it?

Small pox vaccine scar even though born in the 90's (and 89), why is this and can I get rid of it?

The way it was given: Small Pox vaccine was not given with hypoderm needle. We used a bifurcate needle dip in vaccine and puncture the skin superficially a number of times. If vaccine is successful a red and itchy bump appears at the site of vaccination in3to4days and in first week it becomes a large blisterand begins to drain.It begins to dry up in second week and scabs.The scab falls in 3rd week and leaves ugly scar ...Read more

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If my child gets smallpox what is the chance for survival?

Depends: The case fatality rate back 30+ years ago when smallpox was last seen was around 30%. Some individuals had more dramatic presentations with higher fatality rates & children & people >30 were more likely to die. Given that a return of smallpox is unlikely, i would not spend a lot of time worrying about it. ...Read more

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Hello doctors, can vaccines be rendered useless like antibiotics if they are overused. e.g if a new strain of smallpox was?

Hello doctors, can vaccines be rendered useless like antibiotics if they are overused. e.g if a new strain of smallpox was?

Not Exactly: it is not over-vaccination that causes vaccine resistance so much as mutation of the organism, whether a virus or bacteria. Antibiotic resistance occurs when resistant organisms pass genetic information to non-resistant organisms. This is more likely to happen after someone has been exposed to an antibiotic that was not appropriate for the condition, the wrong antibiotic, or the wrong duration. ...Read more

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Should I be worried about a smallpox outbreak?

No: But it is not beyond the realms of possibility for a smallpox bioterrorism attack. Certainly not impossible. ...Read more

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Can I get smallpox?

No: Small pox has been eliminated from any possible exposure. There are two deposits of the virus left: one in the CDC deep freeze in Atlanta and one in a similar place in Russia. The only way you could get this disease would be by an act of terrorism which is very unlikely. ...Read more

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Is smallpox serious?

Yes and no: It's extremely serious if you get it. But since the disease has been eradicated frm the planet, it 's not a serious concern. ...Read more

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How can I get smallpox?

With great : Difficulty. Smallpox was eradicated in 1980. The exception was stocks of the virus maintained in liquid nitrogen at one lab in atlanta, georgia and one lab in moscow. Both countries agreed along with the world health organization that they would destroy their remaining stocks. ...Read more

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How is smallpox treated ?

Smallpox tx.: A Smallpox patient should be isolated in a negative-pressure room until all scabs have fallen off. Provide intravenous or oral hydration wi electrolyte/ fluid monitoring. The person should be vaccinated as soon as possible after exposure. Wound care is important. Use ventilatory support if required. Although there is no specific medication for Smallpox, cidofovir (antiviral) amy be helpful. > ...Read more

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How does smallpox spread?

Person to person: Contact with infectious material from an person with smallpox is how this was passed. There are no insects or animals that spread the germ. Since there has been no cases since 1977, we only hear about this from people worried it may resurface as a bioterror weapon. ...Read more

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How do you catch smallpox?

Smallpox: Human to Human transmission. The WHO announced World-wide eradication of Smallpox on May 8 1980. Smallpox has no animal reservoirs. So Smallpox would not return naturally. ...Read more

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How can you cure smallpox?

Smallpox: The WHO announced World-wide eradication of Smallpox on May 8 1980. Smallpox has no animal reservoirs. So Smallpox would not return naturally. A Smallpox patient should be isolated in a negative-pressure room until all scabs have fallen off. Provide intravenous or oral hydration wi electrolyte/ fluid monitoring. The person should be vaccinated as soon as possible after exposure. Wound care is ...Read more

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