Smallpox is a highly infectious disease, which, in 1980, was declared eradicated by the World Health Organization as a result of successful vaccination campaigns. Because of its highly infectious nature and historical 30% mortality rate, the disease has possibly been developed as a biological weapon. Variola, the virus that causes smallpox, is readily transmissible from person to person during the incubation period, before infected individuals show signs of illness. When a victim develops the characteristic rash and viral syndrome associated with smallpox infection, the disease requires complex isolation and possibly quarantine. Diagnosis can be confirmed in a high-containment laboratory. The only effective treatment for smallpox is rapid administration of smallpox vaccine.
AuthorsSarah D Nafziger
JournalCritical care clinics (Crit Care Clin) Vol. 21 Issue 4 Pg. 739-46, vii (Oct 2005) ISSN: 0749-0704 [Print] United States
PMID16168312 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Review)
  • Bioterrorism
  • Humans
  • Smallpox (diagnosis, prevention & control)
  • Vaccination

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