Baby Care



Small Pox in Babies - Types of Smallpox in Babies, Causes & Symptoms of Smallpox in Infants
Small pox is considered as one of the common reasons behind infant death. Read on to know about the types of smallpox in babies, its causes & symptoms.

Small Pox in Babies

Small pox is believed to have caused one of the menacing influences in the world of human health and history. Though the disease has been long eradicated with the help of unparalleled immunization campaign, concerns about this disease still continue to exist. Parents are concerned about the well being of their children and panic at the mere mention of small pox. Your child having small pox is indeed a frightening thought but there is no reason to panic on the account that chances of your child getting this deadly disease is very small. Small Pox is an incurable disease and the only possible way of fighting it is vaccination. Smallpox is an extremely dangerous virus which, in babies, can many times provoke death. An infectious virus known as Variola virus causes small pox which can be avoided through preventive measures. Smallpox is contagious which means it gets transferred from one person to another through various ways. Read on to educate yourself more on it.

Causes
Small pox is usually caused by infectious virus called variola. Once infected, the virus multiplies inside your cells, affecting your lymph nodes, spleen and bone marrow. In due course, the virus resolves in the blood vessels of your skin and the mucous membranes of your nose and throat. The lesions gradually go away leaving large amounts of viruses in your saliva that can help in the spread of the virus in air.

Small pox is a contagious disease that can spread just by coming in contact with the infected person. This disease can also be passed on through air droplets, when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. You can also get a virus by coming in contact with contaminated objects like toys, utensils, clothes, etc. It can be transmitted through air borne viruses as well, which is generally rare.

Types
There are two main forms of small pox: Variola minor and Variola major. Variola minor is a benign form of this disease and does not pose as a fatal risk. Variola major on the other hand is more aggressive and at times cause death, if infected. Variola major is sub divided into five other types: Ordinary Smallpox, Modified Smallpox, Variola sine eruptione, Hemorrhagic Smallpox and Flat Smallpox.

Ordinary smallpox is the most common form of pox that strikes human beings. Modified smallpox on the other hand is the kind of pox that hits people who have been vaccinated against the disease in the past. Variola sine eruption is often characterized by fever but no rashes. Hemorrhagic smallpox is more aggressive in nature and can lead to bleeding in skin and mucous membranes. It cause skin damage and is often fatal. Flat smallpox occurs mostly in children. It is characterized by no puss filled lesions and fever. It may lead to bleeding in skin and intestinal tract in children.

Symptoms
The initial symptoms of small pox can show up by 12 to 14 days after you are infected. During the incubation period, one is likely to feel healthy and normal and show no signs of infection. However after the incubation period, one might start showing symptoms of pox. The general symptoms are fever, malaise, headache, severe back pain, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea. The characteristic small pox rashes or lesions show up after a few days that gradually turns into puss filled blisters. These lesions are likely to appear on your baby’s face, hands, forearms, abdomen, palms and soles of your baby’s feet and even in mucous membranes of your child’s nose and mouth. The breaking of the pustules can be agonizingly painful. The scabs formed gradually disappear leaving dark scars behind.

Threats
Small Pox is not usually fatal unless affected by Vaiola major. Hemorrhagic and flat forms of the disease can cause death most of the times. It can also cause blindness among affected ones. Also people who recuperate successfully have severe scars on the face, arms and legs.

Prevention
The best way to fight small pox is vaccination. As there is no known cure to this disease, the best way to ward it off is through self-elimination. It is essential to take proper preventive measures to avert the risk of getting small pox. You should wash all the baby’s clothes, toys with disinfectant and dry it in the sun. Keep your child away from infected person.

Treatment
Smallpox is an incurable disease. However it can be prevented with the help of vaccination. Smallpox vaccine can avert any risk if given within four days of infection. Once the symptoms show up, giving vaccination won’t be of much help. It is important to quarantine any infected person to avert spread of the disease.

Some Important Facts

It is not advisable for you to receive smallpox vaccine if:
  • If you have eczema, history of eczema in your family, impetigo or other chronic skin issues.
  • If you are pregnant since this vaccine is believed to cause birth defects like infection in fetus, stillbirth and death
  • If you are allergic to any component in the vaccine like polymyxin B sulfate, streptomycin sulfate, chlortetracycline hydrochloride and neomycin sulfate.
  • If you have, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol or a history of heart disease.
  • People suffering from cancer, people undertaking radiation therapy or people with organ transplants should not use smallpox vaccination.
  • HIV positive people and people with AIDS should not take this vaccination.






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