Small pox is a viral infection caused due to two variants of virus, Variola major and Variola minor. It is one f the deadly disease which wiped many people during its outbreak. 30% of the persons infected with the virus ended dead. It was also used as biological warfare. Edward Jenner first observed that milk maids developed resistance from small pox, thereafter he started vaccinating by taking the pus from the infected milkmaids with cowpox to healthy individuals. Now small pox is completely eradicated from the world and there are no cases of small pox reported globally. The last reported case was in the year 1977. Small pox virus is still maintained at two labs globally.
Small pox symptoms
- About 2 weeks after the exposure to the virus causes fever, headache, sore throat and vomiting.
- After a few days the symptoms appear in the form of rash on body. Fluid filled pustules will develop eventually and sometime pustules expand and join together covering a large portion of the skin.
- In extreme conditions other deformities like loss of a lip, nose and ear tissue is seen.
- Blindness could also occur as a result of corneal scarring.
- About 30% of infected people face death in the 2nd week and other who survived has permanent scarring and some develop the above deformities.
- Once infected with small pox virus it’s difficult to be treated, so it’s better avoided by vaccination.
- If infected to a person, caretakers are advised to be vaccinated and sterile everything the patient uses before using by them. Those who are not vaccinated are advised to stay away from the infected person.
- However the virus is completely eradicated globally therefore public people are not vaccinated for small pox, even if vaccinated the effect may only last for 10-12yrs. Much research isn’t available for Variola virus since it is eradicated everywhere.