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Smallpox: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

The patient should be isolated until all scabs have fallen off (about 3-4 wk after rash onset) to prevent transmission of the variola virus to nonimmune persons. The fluid and electrolyte balance should be monitored and maintained to avoid dehydration. Medications should be given for fever and pain. Good nutritional support should be maintained. Skin care should be instituted. Complications should be monitored for and treated. Unless the diagnosis of smallpox is confirmed in a laboratory, patients should receive smallpox vaccination if they will be isolated with other patients with confirmed or suspected smallpox, to prevent accidental transmission. Corneal lesions may be treated with topical idoxuridine

How is the treatment done?

There is no cure for the smallpox virus. As a result of worldwide, repeated vaccination programs, the variola virus (smallpox) has been completely eradicated. The only people considered to be at risk for smallpox are researchers who work with it in a laboratory setting. In the unlikely event that an exposure to the smallpox virus occurs, vaccination within one to three days can keep the illness from being so severe. In addition, antibiotics can help to reduce the bacterial infections associated with the virus. Treatment of smallpox is left more to nature than to medicine. This is because it is a viral infection and not much is known about smallpox viruses. The spread of smallpox, however, is checked by vaccination. If smallpox is left uncontrolled, it may become an epidemic and even a pandemic. Hence, timely prophylactic treatment for smallpox is very necessary. According to Ayurveda, smallpox was considered to be a possession of the goddess Sitala. In age-old tradition, the person suffering from smallpox was externally treated with a mixture of neem, turmeric and flour. The purpose of this mixture was to create a cooling effect on the burning sensation caused by the pustules. Once the pustules were fully ripened, they were pricked with a short thorn to let the pus and infected blood flow out. Though a painful process, this was effective in relieving long-term pain in the patient. Today, such painful methods are no longer used. Ayurveda has retained almost the same constituents, but the methods used are different. Modern day Ayurveda focuses on the prevention of the disease rather than its treatment.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Before contact with the virus, the vaccine can protect you from getting sick. Within 3 days of being exposed to the virus, the vaccine might protect you from getting the disease. If you still get the disease, you might get much less sick than an unvaccinated person would. Within 4 to 7 days of being exposed to the virus, the vaccine likely gives you some protection from the disease. If you still get the disease, you might not get as sick as an unvaccinated person would.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

People who should not get the vaccine include anyone who is allergic to the vaccine or any of its components (polymyxin B, streptomycin, chlortetracycline, neomycin); pregnant women; women who are breastfeeding; people who have, or have had, skin conditions (especially eczema and atopic dermatitis); and people with weakened immune systems, such as those who have received a transplant, are HIV positive, are receiving treatment for cancer, are taking medications (like steroids) that suppress the immune system, or have heart conditions. Also individuals younger than 12 months of age should not get the vaccine. Additionally, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) advises against non-emergency use of smallpox vaccine in children younger than 18 years of age and the vaccine manufacturer's package insert states that the vaccine is not recommended for use in geriatric populations in non-emergency situations..

Are there any side effects?

These reactions to the smallpox vaccine usually go away without treatment: The arm may be sore and red where the vaccine was given. The glands in the armpits may become large and sore. The vaccinated person may run a low fever. 1 out of 3 people may feel bad enough to miss work, school, or recreational activity or have trouble sleeping. Serious Reactions to the Smallpox Vaccine. In the past, about 1,000 people for every 1 million people vaccinated with the smallpox vaccine for the first time experienced reactions that, while not life-threatening, were serious. These reactions may require medical attention: A vaccinia rash or outbreak of sores limited to one area. This is an accidental spreading of the vaccinia virus caused by touching the vaccination site and then touching another part of the body or another person. It usually occurs on the genitals or face, including the eyes, where it can damage sight or lead to blindness. Washing hands with soap and water after touching the vaccine site will help prevent this. A widespread vaccinia rash. The virus spreads from the vaccination site through the blood. Sores break out on parts of the body away from the vaccination site (generalized vaccine). A toxic or allergic rash in response to the vaccine that can take various forms (erythema multiforme).

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

After the vaccine is given, it is very important to follow instructions follow to care for the site of the vaccine. Because the virus is live, it can spread to other parts of your body, or even to other people. The vaccinia virus (the live virus in the smallpox vaccine) may cause rash, fever, and head and body aches. In certain groups of people, complications from the vaccinia virus can be severe.

How long does it take to recover?

After exposure, it takes between 7 and 17 days for symptoms of smallpox to appear (average incubation time is 12 to 14 days). During this time, the infected person feels fine and is not contagious.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Rs. 500 to Rs. 5000

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The results being permanent depend on the patient's health and condition.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There are no other known alternatives.

Safety: Condition Effectiveness: High Timeliness: High Relative Risk: High Side Effects: Medium Time For Recovery: Medium Price Range:

Rs. 500 to Rs. 5,000

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Popular Questions & Answers

Hi, What are the symptoms of smallpox to a child and if we find it's that what should we do?

Small pox is eradicated from the world. Viral samples are only present in selected micro labs. May be your child may be having chicken pox. See your pediatrician.

My 10 years brother has small poxes in his feet. Like blotch & wound. With rackles. He can't walk. Is there any treatment. Tab or ointment.

The smallpox vaccine is the only known way to prevent smallpox in an exposed person. If given within 4 days of viral exposure, the vaccine can prevent or significantly lessen the severity of smallpox symptoms. Vaccination 4-7 days after exposure m...

My 10 years brother has a small poxes in his leg, like blotch & wound, it's seems like allergy. Wound rankels. He can not walk. Is there any treatment information. Tabs or ointment.

There is no cure for the smallpox virus. As a result of worldwide, repeated vaccination programs, the variola virus (smallpox) has been completely eradicated. The only people considered to be at risk for smallpox are researchers who work with it i...

This morning only, I got conformation that, I had small pox. Is there any way to stop from spreading.

It cannot be small pox.. it may be chicken pox... You can consult me through Lybrate for homoeopathic treatment..

I have one prob my penis has medium not bigger why I can not know please tell what I do.

Start homoeopathy medication for best results Damiana Q 20 drops in half cup of water 2 times a day.

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice