Nothing is more helpful than knowing the pathology of diseases that can affect our children in particular. That is why we want to reveal more about the causes of smallpox, the symptoms of the disease and, of course, the methods by which smallpox is controlled and alleviated.
What is smallpox?
Smallpox, also known as scarlatina, is a disease that mainly affects children between the ages of 5 and 12, although virtually anyone can get it, both children and adults. Smallpox is an infection caused by a group A streptococcal bacterium. In fact, the bacterium caused by smallpox is exactly the same bacterium that causes streptococcal tonsillitis, also commonly known as angina. These bacteria are responsible for the reddish rash on the skin, which gives the disease the name “smallpox”.
Potential causes of smallpox
The most common causes of smallpox are through direct contact:
- When an infected child coughs, sneezes, or even just talks, saliva can come in contact with a healthy child and thus transmit the infection.
- Bacteria can also be transmitted by eating from the same containers as a child (or adult) with smallpox.
- The third common cause of infection is direct contact with skin ulcers in a person with smallpox.
Some time ago, smallpox was still a very serious disease in young children, but today it is already an easily treatable infection if it is only diagnosed and treated in time. But then how can smallpox be identified?
Symptoms of smallpox
The time that elapses between the time of infection and the onset of the first symptoms is usually very short in smallpox. In most cases, the symptoms of smallpox appear within one to two days of infection.
- Smallpox usually begins with high fever and sore throat.
- Next, the toxins released by the bacteria cause a reddish rash, especially on the neck and chest. Within a week, the rash spreads throughout the body and begins to form ulcers.
- The skin can also start to redden at folds in the body, such as the armpits, elbows and groin.
- In addition, the tongue may darken and swell, and a white and wrinkled film may develop on top of it. At this point, the affected patient also begins to experience difficulty swallowing food.
- Chills, abdominal and muscle pain, vomiting, and general malaise can also often occur.
An early diagnosis of this disease is made by physical examination of the patient and a streptococcal test. In this way, the symptoms of smallpox can be alleviated and treated as soon as possible after infection.
Treatment of smallpox
With proper treatment, smallpox tends to heal relatively quickly, although its symptoms can last from two to three weeks before they disappear completely. With antibiotics, medicine is common where, at the same time, it is recommended that the patient strive to eat plenty of soft foods and consume large amounts of fluid.
It is normal for the skin to begin to peel off when the rash and ulcers caused by smallpox begin to heal. This occurs mainly in the fingertips and groin. In some rare cases, smallpox can also cause more serious illnesses, such as rheumatic fever triggered by group A streptococcal bacteria, ear infections, kidney problems , pneumonia, or sinusitis.
The most important thing in each case, regardless of the patient’s state of health, is always to consult an expert in order to avoid more serious complications caused by smallpox.