Smallpox a disease caused by the variola virus gets its name from the blisters or â€œpocksâ€ that occur while sick.
Smallpox is highly contagious and is airborne. It can be passed from person to person through face to face contact in the forms of coughs, sneezes, or breaths. Humans are the only species known to carry the variola virus. Insects and animals have not been reported to do so.
The last known cases of smallpox occurred in 1977 so the chance of anyone getting infected with this disease is very low. Small pox outbreaks have occurred from time to time for thousands of years, but now the disease is said to have been eradicated from the world through the powerful vaccination program.
This disease is easily detectable because it produces a distinct rash that show as blisters with pus and the crust over. Although it sounds similar to chicken pox the blisters look much different. The symptoms of small pox are fever, headache, and fatigue.
Usually a person would go get a shot to prevent the disease called a vaccine, but because it has been so long since anyone has had an account of small pox. Small pox vaccines are not usually given. Some think smallpox can be harnessed and used as a weapon in a bioterrorist attack This is a scary thought but have comfort in knowing the government and law enforcement are working on ways to keep us safe.
If you are still scared that a future outbreak may occur you should feel safe in knowing that there is a supply of the vaccine ready in case of an outbreak of the disease. Good hygiene can help the prevention of any disease however rest assured that it is highly unlikely that you or anyone you know will get smallpox so do not fear.