Although smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980, and no naturally occurring cases of the disease have occurred since then, it is still a frightening disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with other research organization, still study smallpox and its various treatment and prevention techniques in the event that it might be used in a bioterrorism attack. Smallpox is extremely contagious with a high fatality rate, and it typically occurs in localized outbreaks. Luckily, vaccines have helped to eliminate this disease from everyday life completely, but it is still important to know the symptoms in the event of a resurgence.
One of the first visible signs of smallpox is a skin rash. This rash appears as flat, red spots, and it typically begins on the face. Next, the spots will appear on arms, legs, hands, and feet. Within 1-2 days, they will also appear on the torso. During this time, the smallpox is extremely contagious and can be contracted in a variety of ways, primarily by direct contact. This spots can sometimes be confused with chicken pox, but chickenpox is typically itchy and more raised initially. If you notice flat, red spots appearing on your face and extremities, you should seek immediate medical care.
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