smallpox (smawl´poks)

An acute eruptive contagious disease caused by a poxvirus (Orthopoxvirus, a member of the family Poxviridae) and marked at the onset by chills, high fever, backache, and headache; in from 2 to 5 days the constitutional symptoms subside and the eruption appears as papules which become umbilicated vesicles, develop into pustules, dry, and form scabs that on falling off, left a permanent marking of the skin (pock marks); average incubation period is 8 to 14 days. Vaccination has succeeded in eradicating smallpox.variola major, variola; [E. small pocks, or pustules] Smallpox was a universally dreaded scourge of humans for more than three millennia, with case fatality rates sometimes over 20%. In many ways a unique disease, it had no nonhuman reservoir species, and no human carriers. First subjected to some control by variolation in the tenth century in India and China, it was brought under control in the industrialized world after Edward Jenner's 1796 landmark discovery that the harmless cowpox virus could protect humans from infection with the smallpox virus. A global eradication project was initiated by the World Health Organization in 1966, and the last naturally occurring case of the disease was reported in Somalia in 1977. At the time this volume went to press, the only known reservoirs of the virus were in containment laboratories in Atlanta and Moscow; destruction of these laboratory stocks has been the subject of intense debate among scientists. The disease is now one of mainly historical interest.
confluent s.a severe form in which the lesions run into each other, forming large suppurating areas.
discrete s.the usual form in which the lesions are separate and distinct from each other.
fulminating s.hemorrhagic s
hemorrhagic s.a severe and frequently fatal form of s. accompanied by extravasation of blood into the skin in the early stage, or into the pustules at a later stage, accompanied often by nosebleed and hemorrhage from other orifices of the body.fulminating s., variola hemorrhagica;
malignant s.variola maligna
modified s., varicelloid s.varioloid (2)
West Indian s.alastrim


Browse Medical References:

[A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M]
[N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [X] [Y] [Z]