Note – The disease does not exist anymore and the information about smallpox is of historical interest.
Small pox is an acute, highly contagious and frequently fatal, viral illness caused by “variola virus”
Spread and incubation
- Spreads by respiratory route or of lesion.
- Highly infectious, has potential to be used as “bio weapon”
- Incubation period is- 7-17 days.
Symptoms of small pox
Influenza like prodromal symptoms
- High fever
After 2 days-
- Rash develops > macule > papule > vesicle > pustule >molluscumcontagiosum.
- The whole eruptive phase of the illness usually begins on the mouth, face and arms, hereafter spreads to other body parts (back & chest)
- Unlike chicken pox cropping lesions in one area are all at the same stage of development with no cropping.
Diagnosis of small pox
- Electron micrography
- DNA detection tests- PCR
Management of small pox
- Patient requires especially air borne protection with ventilation and engineering requirements.
- Patient must be placed in a monitored negative pressure room, that allows 6-7 air changes/ hour.
- Room door must be closed except entering and exiting.
- Anyone entering must wear adequate droplet protection.
- All contaminated instruments, surfaces, clothing, beddings should be properly decontaminated.
- Skin lesions are kept clean and dry.