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Smallpox (vaccine-preventable)

Disease Information

Smallpox was an acute, contagious, and often fatal disease caused by the variola virus (an orthopoxvirus), and marked by fever and a distinctive, progressive skin rash. In 1980, the disease was declared eradicated following worldwide vaccination programs. The last case of smallpox in the United States was in 1949. The last naturally occurring case in the world was in Somalia in 1977. After the disease was declared eradicated, routine vaccination against smallpox among the general public was deemed no longer necessary and stopped.

Disease Reporting

What is required?

Health Care Providers and Clinical Laboratories

Health care providers and clinical laboratories are required by law to report cases and suspect cases of smallpox to local health department immediately, day or night.

For Local Health Departments

Local health departments should call 971-673-1111 immediately to reach the Oregon Public Health Division epidemiologist on call after receiving a reported case or suspect case of smallpox.

See Also

CDC fact sheet on smallpox