Smallpox is one of the most contagious diseases caused by variola virus, which has been completely wiped out throughout the world.
It was also potentially one of the most devastating and disfiguring biological weapon that have killed almost 300 million people in 20th century alone.
The early signs and symptoms of smallpox, which you can notice after two weeks of infection resembles like those of flu. You can suffer with fever, fatigue and head ache if you are affected with this viral infection.
Later when the infection develops, it causes severe pus filled blisters on your skin. These blisters eventually leave deep, pitted scars [Treating scars] on your skin. Once when the symptoms reaches advanced stage, there is no cure or effective treatment for small pox.
Variola virus is the main culprit!
Variola virus is the main source for the infection to take place. When you are infected with this variola virus, initially this virus starts replicating inside your body cells, primarily in lymph nodes and then in your spleen and bone marrow.
Ultimately this variola virus settles in the blood vessels of your skin and also in mucous membrane of your nose and throat. When the sores in your mouth are ignored, larger amounts of virus are released into your saliva. This can happen when you are most likely to spread the infection.
Factors responsible for transmission:
Smallpox is usually transmitted through face-to-face contact. More often it spreads through droplets of infected person. When these infected persons who are affected with smallpox sneezes, coughs or even when they talk, this virus can be transmitted, provided if you are near by to that person.
In certain rare instances, an airborne virus can further spread this disease, possibly through ventilators of your building, infecting people in other rooms or on other floors of your building.
Smallpox also spreads through direct contact with the clothes and bedding of infected persons, as they are contaminated with variola virus. However the risk of contamination through these sources is very rare and also mild.
Smallpox outbreaks normally take place in 2 to 3 weeks of intervals. In early stages, only few people will fall sick and after a couple of weeks, the chances for the infection are more and it can be developed in many people.
Take regular vaccines for the disease when the outbreak of infection is high and avoid direct contact with the infected persons that can help you in preventing the infection of small pox.