Smallpox is one of the deadliest diseases ever to strike humankind, it kills without prejudice attacking the mightiest king to the lowliest peasant. There are just thousands of ways in which it is a Glory that we can’t even imagine. Now as we stand on the brink of total eradication of this once powerful play the danger is bad and deadlier than ever. Someone can use it as a biological weapon. There wasn’t a country in the world that had not been touched and devastated by smallpox, but in the most massive undertaking ever to rid humanity of disease is smallpox was conquered it took a 12-year campaign to vaccinate the world.
Smallpox History And It’s Treatment
Atlanta Georgia, in the middle of this bustling city of three and a half million people sits an ordinary looking Complex of government buildings.
The center of Disease Control and prevention behind these closed doors, Scientist work in high-security labs with some of the world’s deadliest Biological agents ebola and fracks Marburg they are all Lethal only one among them, however, has already massacred millions it’s name is smallpox.
Today special events of the Deadly Virus also known as variola sleep in a nondescript freezer under the ultimate security precautions.
The virus is frozen in liquid nitrogen and Not many people even know exactly where physically the rooms are where the virus is being held. Viruses are among the smallest of all life forms, Single-celled parasites which invade a host cell and hijack its DNA in order to replicate themselves among all known viruses.
Smallpox is the largest containing the most complex DNA sequence. It is also one of the smartest Dinah’s designed for one thing which is to kill that generally enters through the nose and attack the cells in the lungs. The virus expands in the cell then the next cell over which touches the first cell will catch it and it goes on from there in a matter of hours. It can spread all over the body it’s one of the fastest and most efficient killers of them all.
Unlocking the mysteries of how viruses operate our modern discoveries, but smallpox is an ancient Menace. This microscopic life-form has been terrorizing mankind since the beginning of civilization.
No one knows when smallpox makes its first appearance on the stage of human history. Most likely it begins as an animal virus somewhere in Africa the Middle East or the Asian subcontinent at some point the virus makes the jump to the human’s population. We assume the spread to the human population did not occur until after the first agriculture settlements maybe 10000 years ago. The smallpox virus follows the population, as it migrates it spreads slowly throughout burgeoning human communities the first tangible evidence of its deadly nature is found in the ruins of ancient Egypt in 1898.
An archaeologist uncovers the mummy of Pharaoh Ramses the fifth believed to have died around 57 BC. The mummy has a rash the distribution of which and the size of the pustules match almost exactly that of smallpox in more recent times and so that is the first concrete evidence of the smallpox virus in human. Vague descriptions of the virus appear in some early chronicles. In 430 BC Greek historian Thucydides rights of a lethal pox like an illness that decimates the great city-state of Athens causing the end of the pan-Asian war. 165 AD Roman centurions returning from Mesopotamia carry another pox as an illness to their capital city the plague of Antoninus ranges for 15 years and kills it estimated three and a half to seven million people.
The first full written record of a smallpox case is provided by a 9th-century Persian physician Rosie’ s. He describes a gruesome pathology that begins with a rash covering the body, days later breaks out into tiny pus-filled pox, Blindness may result if the eyes are
The Physician Rossi’s recommended that victims should be bled to the point of fainting other therapies include opening the sores on the 7th day with a golden needle or drinking a potion of horse dung. Possibly the most torturous treatment involves the application of even though smallpox involves a high fever he put you next to a fire and closed all the windows so you take a person who was deathly ill and make him feel much worse than heat somehow came to be associated with the colour red so that smallpox victims were put in rooms that were painted entirely red that had red referees they were made to wear red Pajamas, they wrapped in red blanket, they sometimes were made to drink red juices all with the understanding that this colour red would draw the infection out more Rapidly.
It’s hard to know but a certain percentage and probably a substantial percentage Smallpox patient died because of the doctors not because of a decision. As trade routes open up between Europe and Asia merchants travel the Silk Road to China unaware that they are also exporting the mortal ailment Crusaders returning from West Asia in the 12th and 13th centuries carry the disease back home to their families ignorant of the fact that even those not afflicted with full symptoms are spreading the virus as soon as people came to begin feeling ill with headache backache those kinds of symptoms they were already breathing out virus on to others other killer diseases such as bubonic plague or yellow fever sweep through populations periodically but by the 15th century smallpox is endemic in much of the old world continually spreading throughout the population most people who reach adulthood have already survived the infection.
Despite the best efforts of her physicians she survive there are many historians who think that she lost most of her hair one of the reasons why she wore a red wig for the rest of her life and they’re not quite sure what it did to her complexion but quite likely it was a mess was one of the reasons she went very very thick makeup in the years following her illness the young Queen squelches the Catholic threat and ultimately executed her cousin Mary elizabeth’s reign last 45 years becoming one of the most dynamic eras of the British Empire this was one of the great might have bens of history if she had died in her 20s as she was then certainly English and probably world history would have been very different other English monarchs are not so fortunate when smallpox strikes their Thrones over 130 years later William the third and Mary the second rule as Co sovereigns William is known to have entertained at least one mistress yet when his wife becomes ill with the pox in the days before Christmas 1694 grief overwhelms the King as recorded by the Bishop of Salisbury he cried out that there was no hope and that from being the happiest he was now going to be the miserable asst creature on earth he was said to be in console William the third spent the duration of his wife’s illness at her bedside and really witnessed her slipping away horribly disfigured by this terrible disease eight days after the onset of her symptoms tolling bells announced the Queen’s death to a heartsick England William has already lost both his father and mother to small box now he is alone once more he never married again and was a very sad man for the rest of his life, not all the deaths by smallpox yields such dire results when a young Manchu Emperor of China dies of the pox in 1661AD.
Court advisors ignore the time-honored rules of succession the Powers that be then selected not the oldest son is which have been natural but they skipped to the third youngest son because that child was the one who had already had smallpox and that boy grew up to become one of the two or three greatest Empress of China Kong. He ruled for more than 30 years and was a very wise man the virus spares no royal family during a single one hundred twenty year period beginning in 1654 smallpox kills eight ruling monarchs including king
The Spanish have already settled the Caribbean islands when air Nando Cortez occupies the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan in Mexico, he hopes to capture new slaves and a bounty of gold the Aztecs are a highly militarized society and eventually drive the Spaniard and his small army from the city there was a major defeat the Aztecs essentially drove Cortes out of town but one of the soldiers retreating had smallpox the Native Americans had absolutely no immunity to most European diseases smallpox most of all Cortez
It seems that the Indians were unusually susceptible to the disease death rates of seventy to ninety percent were common and this was true all the way down through the Andean region smallpox spreads down through the central American peninsula and into
In 1532 Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro finds the ancient civilization of the Incas in chaos and his leaders dead some historians estimate that the smallpox virus has reduced the population of Peru to one-fourth of its original size so essentially it wasn’t the Spanish army that conquered the Native Americans it was smallpox the smallpox virus also appears in North America around the same time as Europeans seek to conquer and colonize the new land the Pilgrims record the fact that God saw fit to come amongst the native people and take away great numbers of them to make room for us well actually there’s been a massive.
Smallpox epidemic the preceding two years as in Central and South America the virus spreads like wildfire as the colonial borders pushed westward ingénue frontiers in 1763 colonial British officers stationed near Fort Pitt Pennsylvania faced a confrontation with local natives sir Jeffrey Amherst commander-in-chief the British forces in America suggests a new weapon to battle the contentious Indians in a letter to another colonel could it all be contrived to send the smallpox among these disaffected tribes of Indians we must on this occasion use every stratagem in our power to reduce them shortly afterwards a British officer writes in his journal that the plan is in motion we gave them two blankets and a handkerchief out of the smallpox hospital I hope it will have the desired effect no official documents record the success of this operation however in the ensuing months hundreds of Mingo Delaware and Shawnee Native Americans died this is quite possibly the first ever use of a biological weapon.
In 1709 the virus reaches the Pacific Ocean infecting Native Americans in California’s missions in the course of just under 200 years smallpox has reduced these once robust nations to a fraction of their original population by the 18th century there is hardly a country that is spared from the terror of smallpox it kills up to thirty percent of those it afflicts those who survive are branded for life smallpox was a river that everyone had to cross one way or another people lived with the understanding that they would have smallpox almost learning during their lifetimes they will either die prematurely from it or not some observers note that if a person survives smallpox he retains immunity throughout his life this leads to one of the first measures aimed at mitigating the virus’s deadly toll in Turkey in 1717 an intrepid Englishwoman Lady Mary Wortley Montagu witnesses a strange procedure which the Turks used to induce a mild case of smallpox before a major case can strike specifically they found that if you took pustular material from a patient who had the act of disease and you put it on the skin and then sort of scratched it in the patient would not be that sick normally no one knows exactly when or where this practice called variolation or inoculation first appeared it results in death in up to two percent of patients but people fear smallpox so greatly that many willingly assumed the risk called buying the pox various styles of inoculation are practiced in parts of Africa, India and China now Lady Mary Wortley Montagu decides to bring the procedure to England but here she meets resistance to this unprecedented medical procedure but if we understood that this was a very dangerous virus and while we might understand that putting it into the skin was less dangerous than people breathing it naturally it was difficult for late people and even some other physicians to understand that lady Montague’s friend the Princess of Wales seeks better proof of the strange procedure safety and asked six condemned prisoners facing the gallows to be very elated if they die smallpox will be the executioner if they live they will be spared the noose and set free five of them came down with minor case of smallpox and survived the 6th came down with nothing he was probably immune and they let him go so she went to an orphanage notice you the world they would pick on the people who at least the capable of helping themselves and had a bunch of orphans very elated and none of them died she then decided maybe it was safe and had a family violated gradually with this royal stamp of approval the practice of inoculation spreads throughout England but variation causes controversy again in the American colonies Boston 1721 graveyards fill with fresh victims as a smallpox epidemic grips the port city but the great Puritan preacher Cotton Mather has learned that one of his African slaves doesn’t fear the disease the slaved allowed us how he wasn’t in danger of getting smallpox because he had been inoculated before and in that way Cotton Mather came to first year of this practice he then put it into practice having one of his children inoculated as evidence of how this could be done this deliberate attempt to infect someone with the heinous pox outrages the anxious Bostonians the doctor who performed the inoculation Abdiel Boylston allegedly hides in his home for two weeks after threats are made against his life someone tosses a crude grenade into Reverend Mathers house with a note attached God matte you dog damn you we’ll inoculate you with this with a Parks to you the epidemic of 17 22 proves the last major outbreak of smallpox in Boston as its citizens finally accept inoculation in other places around the world.
The practice of variation begins to ease the death rates of smallpox also for the first time physicians know enough to count precisely the days between exposure to the disease and the onset of symptoms they now realize that there is a 10 to 12 day incubation period when someone seems well but is in an infectious stage a danger to others physicians and governments begin to use isolation as a means of containing the spread of the disease you take some more pucks patients and put them in ships in the harbour and not let anybody camera go there are Pest houses which were hospitals that flew special Flags I tell you to stay away from that’s where they put the smallpox patients other innovations improve the care of smallpox patients during the late 17th century English physician Thomas Sydenham bans the heat treatment ordering patients to move about as much as possible when in bed windows are opened to let in fresh air light bedsheets replace red blankets still there is no cure for smallpox once a patient is sick there is nothing to do but wait it out by the late 18th century smallpox is at its most destructive in Europe killing hundreds of thousands each year 1778 Gloucestershire England a smallpox epidemic rages throughout the British countryside like many in rural areas a local doctor Edward Jenner is aware of folk wisdom noting that dairy maids working on his farm could nurse smallpox victims with no fear of contagion milkmaids would catch cow pox which is a related disease sort of a first cousin to smallpox and they would get mildly ill they would break out in sores usually on their hands and then they would be fine milkmaids never got smallpox for some reason rather getting cowpox gave them immunity after studying cowpox infections for 18 years Jenner finally prepares to prove a hunch on May fourteenth 1796 he takes pus from the hand of a milkmaid infected with cow pox and inoculates an eight-year-old boy James Phipps after Phipps recovers from a mild case of the bovine disease Jenner inoculates him with the actual and potentially lethal smallpox virus as expected the smallpox infection never takes hold the doctor publishes his results naming the new technique vaccination after vasa the Latin word for tau Jenner gains a claim as discoverer of the world’s first vaccine he is known today as the father of modern immunology it was a major medical achievement it was a new way of looking at prevention of disease it is true however the Jenner had no idea what he was doing it seemed to him logical that it would work and it worked but he had no clue why it worked many ridicule the new vaccine but most submit to the cowpox inoculations when new epidemics of smallpox break out soon the world is clamouring for the new smallpox vaccine would be vaccinators in Spain design innovative methods to keep the vaccine alive during transport to the new world they would take a group of orphans and put them on the boat they would inoculate the first one with the virus and after a pustule would form on the arm they would take material from that orphan and inoculate the next one and the next one eventually when they got to the new world let’s say then the orphans would be then given over to families living there and that’s the way they got the vaccine from place to place at last physicians begin to make inroads against the deadly disease that has ravaged millions for almost 3,000 years mortality figures drop worldwide however vaccination rates vary from country to country and few people realize that the vaccine does not confer lifetime immunity much of the population remains at risk even President Abraham Lincoln falls ill with the pox just hours after completing the Gettysburg Address on November 19 1863 fortunately it is not a severe case as he recovers the president finds humour in his the submit the cantankerous politics of Washington President Lincoln is said to have said to one of his associates that there was one good thing about Lincoln’s infection and that was that Lincoln now had something that he could give to everyone Lincoln survives with few visible scars but as the 19th century draws to a close the same can’t be said for the world at large the scourge of smallpox has exterminated hundreds of millions of lives and its wrath still threatens many people all over the planet in the early 20th century vaccination combined with isolation of smallpox patients stems the tide of infection in most industrialized nations with the threat diminishing Americans aren’t being vaccinated leaving them susceptible to infection in March of 1947 an American businessman returns from Mexico infected with the variola virus and dies in a New York Hospital by mid-April 12 more cases are reported causing a panic they wound up vaccinating essentially everybody in New York City he 6 million people and they did it in matters of days one time half a million people were vaccinated one day which still believed to be the world’s record this frightening incident underscores the sad truth as long as smallpox exists somewhere in the world the terror will not diminish in 1953 the director-general of the newly formed World Health Organization and arm of the United Nations suggests a solution to the smallpox crisis his plan to eradicate it from the human race almost two decades passed before the Soviet Union and the United States reach across the battle lines of the Cold War and join forces to fund an eradication effort .
Dr. Dean Henderson of the CDC heads the campaign there are five main areas where the virus remains endemic in order to stop the disease health workers will have to interrupt permanently the chain of transmission it will be the first time anyone has attempted such a daunting task Brazilian physician, Dr. Siro de Cuatro’s joins the effort in his country we had many species that have been extinguished by pollution 20 smallpox was the first species in that mankind made a deliberate attempt to distinguish the first battle in his historic campaign starts in western Africa in 1967 Dr. Donald Hopkins is part of an army of local health workers and international volunteers who set out equipped only with jet injectors and freeze-dried vaccine for many it is their first real look at the ancient disease all of us young people were really geared up to go get smallpox and it was impressive even shocking to see the disease face to face you could see in a sense how much they hurt in a way that could not be conveyed by my pictures I remember only too vividly visiting a smallpox ward in Dhaka and Bangladesh with a British physician who’d seen a lot of tropical disease in Africa and this physician sort of put his hands on the banister outside he said this is the most horrible disease of they were created and this guy’s seen everything the first plan of attack is mass vaccination when the program runs short of vaccine in southeast Nigeria a different approaches tried.
If they had to set priorities for using little vaccine they had they focused on the currently infected household in villages and were able to demonstrate that lo and behold by vaccinating only the smaller number of people they were able to stop the infection from spreading this technique known as surveillance and containment becomes the main plan of attack the strategy is to find a case of smallpox isolate the patient and vaccinate everyone within a ring around the location then the ring is extended and they vaccinate an even wider circle possible contacts thus containing the infection for this to succeed one hundred percent healthcare workers will have to track down every single case of smallpox on the planet there were tremendous logistical hurdles in simply getting to places many of these places had no roads you had to walk into them ford streams
We have to say we’re not generally a threat though I personally worried about snakes a lot for the most part villagers eagerly line up to be vaccinated although some health workers meet with resistance you will try to convince the chief of day of the village priest they would reluctantly accept and what is worse sometimes they will become even hostile they would force you to come to the village and suddenly we’re chased by dogs you are changed by stones you are changed by Spears if you chased by kens flash cards depicting infected babies are shown to villagers schoolchildren lead the workers to housebound patients when I began with a smallpox program and there were many people very pessimistic telling me you couldn’t do it surprisingly gotta lie about 23 years into the program and it was going so much better than we’d ever imagined I mean that the disease was disappearing by 1971 the last case is isolated in Latin America the American continents are free of the virus for the first time since the conquistadors arrived soon Indonesia and Southern Africa claims success as well I began to think you know we could really do this we might get there and then we hit South Asia in India Hindus pray to the goddess Chautla Mata when smallpox strikes epidemics are so horrible in this country of 600 million the dead bodies clog the rivers should contain an outbreak here and you’d go a little further and you’d find another half dozen villages were infected you didn’t even know where to begin there was so much to do in 1973 India and WHO launched a desperate plan they mobilize an unprecedented army of health workers to visit each and every hole in the country to document any cases of smallpox the workers have 10 days to conduct the search then vaccination teams follow amazingly this strategy succeeds 120 thousand health workers went out in 10 days visited every house in India unbelievable it took eight tons of paper that has to do they the buck work on this with reporting accuracy near 100% it becomes clear that there is far more smallpox than originally believed but workers successfully vaccinate the rings of population around the pockets of infection Chautala Mata goddess of smallpox begins to lose her power the last cases occurred little more than 18 months later and was gone from India the Indian government couldn’t believe it frankly we couldn’t believe it probably for the first time in recorded history there was no smallpox in India following the WA chose heroic campaign the virus survives in two remaining areas Bangladesh and Eastern Africa despite civil wars in both countries the search and containment method again prevails by 1977 who officials believe they have contained the virus in these regions as well Somalian al-Iman malign now holds a dubious distinction in 1977 he becomes the last human to contract smallpox from a natural infection for two years officials wait for another case to surface but not does finally on may eight nineteen eighty after the virus has killed at least 300 million people in the 20th century alone the World Health Organization declares the world free of small box it recommends that all countries cease vaccinations it is no longer necessary the eradication of smallpox was really an unprecedented human achievement this was the first time that we had broken forever the change of transmission of any disease the fact that it happened with the virus that had caused so much havoc among humans made it that much more momentous with the historic eradication of smallpox in the 1970s vaccination for the disease stops it is no longer a threat the virus does not exist in the wild the World Health Organization calls for laboratories around the world to destroy their samples of the virus or to transfer them to one of two official repositories in Moscow or the Atlanta facilities of the Centres for Disease Control who plans to finish off its successful eradication program by destroying these remaining vials of the virus sometime in June nineteen ninety nine but in early nineteen ninety-two a former high-level military doctor from the soviet union now calling himself can a Lebed defects to America he brings with him unsettling insider information about a massive biological warfare operation in Russia first established in 1928 by late eighties and this program was so huge very sophisticated very powerful with about sixty seventy thousand people dozens of Institute’s research and development facilities and production manufacturing facilities including smallpox in his book biohazard Dr. Alan Beck reveals the Soviet military’s decision to increase its work with a smallpox virus at the same time as who 0 is winning its war against the disease at one point the Soviet factories produce 20 tons of the virus to be dispersed to its enemies by means of specially designed more heads rd. ala Beck’s revelations were earth-shattering there was a strong suspicion and more than a suspicion that the Russians had been involved in some sort of operations with regard to biological weapons but the what he described the extent the complexity the investment the fact that was still present I can say that this was a bombshell smallpox could indeed prove a powerful and deadly weapon not only does it guarantee a death rate of about thirty percent on an unvaccinated population but unlike other potential biological weapons it is highly contagious even those who were inoculated before vaccinations stopped in the late 1970s are vulnerable the vaccine doesn’t provide lifetime immunity everybody practical everybody is vulnerable to this virus even a single person infected with this virus could infect tens or even hundreds of new people by early 1999 revelations such as these raised enough concern that President Clinton delays the scheduled destruction of the virus in the CDC repository this sparks an argument that still divides the scientific community today some researchers believe the actual virus will one day be our best weapon against the disease they hope to use the virus to create a powerful new antiviral agent I personally do not think that we should destroy the smallpox virus to destroy the virus completely now says that we are certain that nobody is ever going to have a is for this and to do so I think is arrogant others point out that it is the supplies of the smallpox vaccine that are critical production of vaccine stopped over 25 years ago creating another chilling scenario if anybody attacks us with smallpox there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it there’s not enough vaccine for 216 million Americans you can make it fast enough to vaccinate everybody I’m more than disappointed that we didn’t destroy the smallpox virus I’m deeply concerned that probably the greatest threat that we have in bioterrorism is use of the smallpox virus and it seems to me that anything we could possibly do to diminish that threat we should be doing completing the circle of history we are back where we began even if our government stocks huge quantities of vaccine as many experts recommend we will live in terror of smallpox as long as it exists on earth I do hope that eventually the virus will be totally destroyed and I hope that this will be my lifetime despite this new climate of fear the smallpox eradication campaign stands as an example of how nations can work together for the common good many of the smallpox eradication team members have moved on to apply their knowledge to the fight against other diseases similar programs aimed to eradicate measles the guinea worm and polio by the early 21st century those people who fought the disease we’re doing something for the good of humanity they were underpaid they were overworked it was dangerous there is no achievement in the history of Medicine that comes even close to what these people did I don’t have very many heroes in my life but they’re my heroes the World Health Organization has delayed its destruction of the last known vials of the virus while the world’s medical and military leaders continue to debate the issue at this time neither the Russians nor the Americans seem willing to destroy this potentially devastating weapon.
We know eradicating smallpox isn’t known as one of the greatest achievements of international cooperation in modern medicine but it totally should be hey peeps trace here for dews smallpox is an awful viral infection that’s related to the chickenpox.
But it is way worse an infected person incubates for 17 days during which time they can infect others and once the virus hits it causes pain pox fever vomiting headaches and general awfulness most survive but they will bear the scars of the pox for the rest of their lives and will sometimes even go blind this virus was once considered one of the most dangerous and human history but now it’s gone how does a race go about eradicating a whole disease smallpox is the first success because it was once considered the worst to get first we had to discover vaccination in 1796 English physician Edward Jenner discovered if a person was given serum created from the saliva of a cow that had cow pox which is a virus similar to smallpox they become immune to the human strain then in the late 19th century during the Franco Prussian war a smallpox epidemic killed millions but the eight hundred thousand strong Prussian army less than five hundred the science saved them the Prussians required their army to get vaccinated the virus spreads through face-to-face contact usually by saliva from coughs or wayward drops while talking it took a while to convince the world to stop warring but in 1966 the United Nations Soviet Union United States and other countries teamed up to get rid of smallpox once and for all using a system of inoculation and isolation these countries and the World Health Organization vaccinated the uninfected and isolated those who were contagious until their danger had passed the last naturally acquired case was in 1977 and then in 79 thirty-four years ago this month it was declared eradicated vaccinated people never allow the disease to take a foothold in their bodies and eventually without a population to infect a virus just kind of dies out humans have attempted to mimic this success and eradicate other infections like polio malaria measles and mumps but unlike smallpox these are considered eliminated which means there’s less than one case per thousand people per year in a country most have had some kind of light at the end of their tunnel but there’s no one-size-fits-all for full eradication so far we’ve eradicated smallpox and something called rinderpest a livestock disease and both of those were through vaccination the elimination of measles from many areas worked because of vaccination as well but now there are people living in countries where it was considered eradicated who are refusing vaccines and spreading the disease to non-immune humans this is causing what was once a falling number of cases to
the stall that is not good eradication is a systematic and scientific application of our medical knowledge.
Smallpox vaccine name is ACAM2000
small pox is an extremely contagious and deadly virus for which there is no known cure the last known case occurred in the United States in 1949 and due to worldwide vaccination programs this disease has been completely eradicated smallpox is also known as variola since the time of ancient Egypt smallpox has proven to be one of the most devastating diseases to humankind widespread smallpox epidemics and huge death tolls fill the pages of our history books dot the first smallpox vaccine was created in 1758 however the disease continued to infect and kill people on a widespread basis for another 200 years the World Health Organization implemented a strict vaccination standard in order to slow the infection rate the last nerve case occurred in 1977 in Somalia by 1980 the WHO show declared that smallpox had been completely eradicated although government and health agencies still have stashes of smallpox virus for research purposes dot people no longer receive routine smallpox vaccinations the smallpox vaccine can have potentially fatal side effects so only the people who are at higher risk of exposure get the vaccine what are the symptoms of smallpox historical accounts show that when someone was infected with the smallpox virus they had no symptoms for between 7 and 17 days however once the incubation period was over the following flu-like symptoms occurred high fever chills headache severe back pain abdominal pain vomiting these symptoms would go away within two to three days then the patient would feel better however just as the pay started to feel better a rash would appear the rash started on the face and then spread to the hands forearms and the main part of the body the person would be highly contagious until the rash disappeared within two days of appearance the rash would develop into abscesses that filled with fluid and pus the abscesses would break open and scab over the scabs would eventually fall off leaving pit marks scars until the scabs fell off the person remained contagious types of smallpox there were two common and two rare forms of smallpox the two common forms were known as variola minor and variola major dot variola minor was a less fatal type of smallpox the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that only one percent of those infected died however it was less common than variola major the CDC estimates that 90% of smallpox cases were very Ola major historically this type of smallpox killed 30% of those infected doc the two rare forms of smallpox were known as haemorrhagic and malignant both of these rare forms of smallpox carried a very high fatality rate haemorrhagic smallpox caused organs to leak blood into the mucous membranes and skin dot malignant smallpox lesions did not develop into pustules or pus filled bumps on the skin instead they remained soft and flat throughout the entire illness how do you catch smallpox one of the reasons smallpox was so dangerous and deadly is because it’s an airborne disease airborne diseases tend to spread fast coughing sneezing or direct contact with any bodily fluids could spread the smallpox virus in addition sharing contaminated clothing or bedding could lead to infection treatment for smallpox there is no cure for the smallpox virus as a result of worldwide repeated vaccination programs the variola virus has been completely eradicated the only people considered to be at risk for smallpox are researchers who work with it in a laboratory setting in the unlikely event that an exposure to the smallpox virus occurs vaccination within one to three days can keep the illness from being so severe in addition antibiotics can help to reduce the bacterial infections associated with the virus.