Agent Identification - Biological

Smallpox

Smallpox also gained media and public attention in the last several years. The incubation period is about 12 days and exposure can occur via inhalation or body fluid contact. Initial symptoms may be similar to a cold or flu with malaise, fever, rigors, emesis, headache, and backache with the developmental progression on days 2-3 of an erythematous painful rash.

The rash is different from varicella (chickenpox) in that the lesions are present in all the same stages on the body at once and the patient tends to be more toxic and ill. By days 8-10 the rash will progress to pustular vesicles with predominance on the extremities and face.

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