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Smallpox (cont.)

Smallpox Prevention

Vaccination is the most effective means of preventing smallpox infection. Vaccination can even be administered up to four or five days after a person is exposed to the virus. This practice may not completely prevent disease, but probably it will result in a significantly less severe case of the illness.

  • How the vaccination is given: The inoculation is injected with a special two-pronged needle dipped into the vaccine solution. The needle is then used to prick the skin (usually of the upper arm) 15 times. The pricked spot becomes sore afterward. A red, itchy bump develops in three to four days, becomes a pus-filled blister, and begins to drain. During the second week, the blister dries up, and the scab that forms eventually falls off, leaving a small scar. The vaccination site should be kept covered with a bandage and the person with the sore should not touch it.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/26/2012
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Smallpox »

Smallpox is an acute contagious disease caused by the variola virus (Poxvirus variolae), a member of the Poxviridae family of the genus Orthopoxvirus.

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