Smallpox is a condition that can be caused by two types of disease, the Variola major and Variola minor. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that this disease had been eradicated in the year 1980. The last naturally occurring disease was in 1977. After contracting the disease, the risk of death is approximately 30%. This disease can be transmitted to others via those who are infected and contaminated objects. It can be prevented using the smallpox vaccine which was discovered in 1798 by Edward Jenner. Treatment includes supportive management and antiviral medication.
The origination of smallpox is unknown but can be traced back to the Egyptian mummies in 3rd century BC. It has historically occurred in outbreaks. In the 18th century, there was approximately 400,000 individuals who died from smallpox annually in Europe with 33% of cases resulting in blindness. In the 20th century, smallpox led to about 300 to 500 million deaths. The most recent outbreak was in 1967 with a total of 15 million cases a year. Smallpox is one of the infectious diseases that have been eradicated.
Smallpox Symptom #1: Fever and Chills
Fever or pyrexia refers to the elevation of the set point of body temperature beyond the normal range. The increased set point of body temperature results in the muscle contractions of the body to generate heat and the sensation of feeling cold. This is known as chills and rigor.
Fever, chills, and rigor are non-specific symptoms that are seen in many diseases and infections. Fever in small pox is at least 38.3 degrees Celsius or 100.94 degrees Fahrenheit. Fever is the body’s natural response in fighting off an infection.