Smallpox: An Update for Nurses Article

Constantin, CM, Martinelli, AM, Bonney, EA et al. (2003). Smallpox: An Update for Nurses . BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH FOR NURSING, 4(4), 282-294. 10.1177/1099800403252014

cited authors

  • Constantin, CM; Martinelli, AM; Bonney, EA; Strickland, OL



  • The global eradication of smallpox in the late 1970s was a major achievement of the 20th century and brought out the best in science and public health. Prior to eradication, smallpox was a devastating disease with an overall mortality rate of approximately 5% to 30% for the most common form of the disease depending on vaccination status and the clinical presentation. The more severe forms of smallpox (i.e., flat and hemorrhagic type) had case fatality rates of approximately 96% to 100%. Currently, there is heightened international concern regarding the potential use of the smallpox virus as an agent for bioterrorism. Therefore, it is imperative that health care workers become familiar with clinical aspects of this disease as part of the national efforts to ensure homeland security. This article reviews the history, disease progression, and adverse events of smallpox; immunization practices; and nursing considerations. © 2003, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • January 1, 2003

published in

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 282

end page

  • 294


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