General characteristics of the disease
Smallpox is a contagious viral infection that affects only capable people.
This disease is characterized by general intoxication and distinctive rash on the mucous membranes and skin, after which almost always are numerous scars. This infection is caused by two types of virus: the causative agent of smallpox (mortality of infected is 20-40%, and according to some sources - 90%) and pathogen alastrima (mortality of 1-3%).
The smallpox virus is highly resistant natural: a few days can be stored in the linen and dusty rooms, more than a year remains active in the patient after exfoliating peels, which are in the dark and the light - about 2, 5 months.
Pox virus die half an hour by heating to 60
C, 1-5 minutes - 70-100
C and after 6 hours of exposure to ultraviolet irradiation. For half an hour to neutralize the smallpox virus may alcohol, hydrochloric acid, acetone and ether.
A sick person is a source of infection from the last days of incubation of the virus and the time of falling away crusts.
The greatest risk are patients who have symptoms of smallpox erased form that makes it difficult to recognize the disease, resulting in the isolation of patients often occurs late.
However, the danger is not only the patient, but also things that he contacted. The infection can be transmitted as airborne and air-dust, contact-household path. It is also possible mechanical transfer smallpox flies. Susceptibility to infection in people who do not have immunity to it, almost one hundred percent. The most likely to be infected with smallpox children. A person ill with the infection, the immune system becomes durable for a long time, but not for life. Vaccination against smallpox provides immunity to the disease for 3-5 years, after which revaccination is necessary.
The smallpox virus has been spread on all continents, but today the disease is defeated by a mass vaccination in the countries of the world community. In 1980 it was officially declared eradicated. Today, smallpox virus is in two laboratories belonging to the United States and Russia, the question of its final destruction WHO postponed until 2014.
The symptoms of smallpox
The incubation period for a typical course of the disease lasts about 8-12 days.
For the initial period is characterized by symptoms of smallpox, as chills, fever, thirst, tearing pains in the sacrum, lower back and extremities, headache, dizziness, vomiting. In some cases, there may be a mild onset, with blurred manifestations of infection.
At 2-4 day to the above symptoms of smallpox joins initialism skin rash or hemorrhagic rash, localized on both sides of the chest up to the armpits, on the inner thighs and the folds below the navel. Spotted rash usually lasts a few hours, while the hemorrhagic - a little longer.
On day 4 the clinical symptoms of smallpox begin to weaken, the temperature drops, but pockmarks appear on the skin - a typical manifestation of this disease. Ospina begin their existence in the form of spots, and then they turn into papules, which in turn become bubbles, then turns into pustules (suppuration). The last stage, which are pockmarks, this - the formation of crusts, their rejection and scarring. In addition to skin rashes smallpox, which are then converted into erosion, also appear on the mucous membranes of the nose, larynx, oropharynx, bronchi, female genital mutilation, in the rectum, conjunctiva and other organs.
For 8-9 days the stage of the disease is characterized by festering bubble, which is accompanied by deteriorating health of patients, the emergence of symptoms of toxic encephalopathy (agitation, delirium, impaired consciousness).
Smallpox in children at this stage may be characterized by convulsions. To pockmarks dried up and fell off, it takes 1-2 weeks, and then on the scalp and face are numerous scars. In especially severe disease infected may die before the rash step.
Vaccination against smallpox in the event of infection allows the disease to move easily and without complications. Vaccinated patients have mild discomfort, not very pronounced signs of intoxication, the slim smallpox rash, pustules are formed, resulting in scars on the skin left. There are also milder forms of smallpox, characterized by short-term fever, without severe disorders and rash. Especially in vaccinated patients as is the length of the incubation period, which is 15-17 days. Recovery usually occurs within two weeks.
Complications of smallpox may be sepsis, iritis, keratitis, panoftalmity, pneumonia, meningoencephalitis, encephalitis.
Treatment of Smallpox
The symptoms of smallpox are the basis for specific research, which will result in a final diagnosis.
Smallpox in children and adults in most cases has a typical clinical presentation, and therefore the treatment of these age groups is similar.
Due to the fact that effective treatment for a long time no zoster, commonly used magical and "popular" methods of getting rid of the infection. Today, the treatment of smallpox, if necessary, can be employed antivirals and smallpox immunoglobulin which 3-6 ml dose administered by intramuscular injection. In order to prevent adherence of a bacterial infection it is expedient applying to affected areas antiseptics. In the case of complications in the treatment of bacterial pox suitable antibiotics such as cephalosporins, macrolides, semisynthetic penicillins. In this disease the necessary measures to facilitate detoxification.
Dr. Hubert VO at the end of the XIX century used for smallpox vaccination for the treatment of disease. Daily infected people was introduced a vaccine against the infection, which can significantly alleviate the symptoms of smallpox. Currently, you can not say for sure why this method of treatment is not widely used.
Prevention of smallpox
Measures include disease prevention, early diagnosis of infection, isolation of patients, quarantine, disinfection, preventing the importation from other countries. As the practice of medicine and the history of the world, vaccination against smallpox - the most important and effective way of preventing the disease.