Statutory notification

Public health management

Important information

  • Infectious agent: Variola virus.
  • Transmission: Smallpox was spread via infective droplets during close contact with infected symptomatic people.
  • Incubation period: From 7 to 19 days; commonly 10 to 14 days to onset of illness and 2 to 4 days more to onset of rash.
  • Infectious period: From the time of development of the first lesions until the disappearance of all scabs; about 3 weeks.
  • Case exclusion: Case should be isolated immediately.
  • Contact exclusion: Contacts and those living in the immediate vicinity of a case should be vaccinated. Contacts should have their temperature monitored daily and be isolated if they develop a fever.
  • Treatment: There is no cure available but vaccination can be used to prevent infection in contacts.
  • Immunisation: Routine vaccination is not recommended.
  • Case follow-up: Is conducted by public health units and the Communicable Disease Control Directorate.


Notifiable disease data and reports

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Public Health