Health Care, Other

Important Smallpox Symptoms

Smallpox Smallpox

[toc]Smallpox is a very common medical condition around the world. Initially, it looks similar to the flu-like symptoms. However, the development of red colored spots throughout the body differentiates it from other medical conditions. It is relatively more common in children who do not receive smallpox vaccination.Symptoms include generalized discomfort, back pain, nausea, vomiting, headache and diarrhea. Once the disease abates in intensity, red spots are replaced by scars.

Red spots may turn into lesions and eventually lead to fluid-filled blisters. These symptoms abate on their own over a period of time. Let us try to understand more about the important smallpox symptoms.

Various Important Smallpox Symptoms


This is the most common symptom of smallpox. It is also one of the primary symptoms experienced by the patients suffering from smallpox. Headache is usually mild in intensity during the initial stages and becomes moderate when the disease worsens.

It usually abates in intensity within a week or two. Headache may wax and wane in intensity. Intensity of headache differs from one patient to another. It also depends on the patient’s condition and headache triggering factors. Headaches with smallpox are not a major concern.


Fever is what makes small pox symptoms appear like flu. Other symptoms with fever appear in a flu-like cluster. Fever and associated symptoms are often mild in the initial stages. However, patients suffering from smallpox may have recurrent fever until the smallpox is treated.

Fever is an indication of the patient’s body fighting against the disease. Therefore, it takes a relatively long time for the fever to abate when the patient is suffering from this disease. High fever is common when disease is at its peak in the body.

Nausea And Vomiting

Nausea And Vomiting Nausea And Vomiting

Generalized nausea and occasional vomiting are seen in individuals suffering from smallpox. For a couple of weeks, these symptoms are moderate to severe in intensity. Once red spots on body resolve, nausea and vomiting reduce in severity too.

Nausea can be moderate to severe in intensity. Like other symptoms, they last until the disease abates in severity. Persistent vomiting causes dehydration. This leads to electrolyte imbalance in the body. It also causes nutrient loss. Therefore, patients suffering from smallpox often feel very weak.


Patients may have mild to moderate back pain. However, generalized pain occurs with the development of red spots and fluid-filled blisters. Pain is normally mild to moderate in intensity.

Patients may feel pain all throughout their body when the disease is at it’s peak. The skin can be mildly tender to touch due to the blisters. Pus-filled blisters in the later stages of smallpox are painful to touch. This pain reduces within 2 to 3 weeks. However, mild back pain may last for 3 to 4 days after smallpox has resolved.

Generalized Discomfort

There are many symptoms that lead to generalized discomfort. Losing fluids and electrolytes from body and high body temperature can make patients feel fatigued. This causes severe discomfort and makes the patient feel uneasy. Children affected with smallpox feel irritated. They can cry and act lethargic. Energy levels are normally low. Patients may also feel disinclined towards eating meals due to the generalized discomfort. Discomfort is also a consequence of low immunity due to the smallpox. It usually gets better after 3 weeks.

Smallpox affects a great majority of people around the world, especially those people who have not received the vaccination. The most common symptoms of smallpox are mentioned above. These symptoms often occur in a cluster.

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