National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Skip to the navigation

It is possible that the main title of the report Smallpox is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Smallpox is an infectious disease caused by the variola virus. It is characterized by fever, a general feeling of ill health (malaise), headaches and back pain. These initial symptoms are followed by a rash and small, raised bumps or lesions (pocks) within two or three days. Smallpox was a highly contagious disease, but was declared eradicated in 1980. However, recently smallpox has become of interest because of the possibility of its use as a weapon of warfare or of terrorism. There were two strains of smallpox, variola major and variola minor.

Supporting Organizations

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1600 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30333
Tel: (404)639-3534
Tel: (800)232-4636

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

NIAID Office of Communications and Government Relations
5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9806
Bethesda, MD 20892-9806
Tel: (301)496-5717
Fax: (301)402-3573
Tel: (866)284-4107

World Health Organization (WHO)

Avenue Appia 20
Geneva 27, 1211
Tel: 41227912111
Fax: 41227913111

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report.

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  4/7/2009
Copyright  2009 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.