Smallpox is a contagious, sometimes fatal disease that could be used for bioterrorism. There is a detailed nationwide plan to quickly contain any smallpox outbreak, and enough vaccine is on hand to protect those who will need it.

What is smallpox?
Smallpox is a contagious disease that causes fever, rash and severe skin blisters. It is fatal in about 30% of its cases. Smallpox spreads through the air, but is easily controlled because it develops slowly in an infected person. Worldwide vaccination has eradicated smallpox; it exists now only in laboratories.  

How serious is the smallpox threat?

No specific threats exist, but the deliberate release of smallpox as an epidemic disease is now regarded as a possibility. Federal and state governments, including Connecticut, have plans ready to deal with this possibility.

What are the symptoms?
Smallpox infection begins with high fever, head and body aches, and sometimes vomiting. A rash follows that spreads and progresses to raised bumps and pus-filled blisters. The blisters scab and fall off after about three weeks, leaving a pitted scar. 
Should I get vaccinated?
Smallpox vaccine is not available to the general public at this time. Since the vaccine can cause mild reactions in some people, it is reserved for specific occurrences of an outbreak, if any.  
If I think I have smallpox...
If you develop the symptoms of smallpox, contact your doctor or the Department of Public Health immediately at 860-509-8000.
More Information

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) carry complete information about smallpox.

The Department of Health and Human Services provides smallpox vaccine details and other health professional information.