Illinois Department of Public Health
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  Smallpox Stages of Rash  
Notify your local health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health immediately of a suspected or confirmed case of smallpox. Report a suspected or confirmed case of adult (20 years or older) chickenpox within 24 hours and suspected or confirmed cases of chickenpox in a child (up to 19 years of age) within seven days to the local health department.
  • Incubation period is between seven and 17 days after close contact with a smallpox case.

  • Malaise, fever, rigors, vomiting, headache and backache precede the rash by two to three days.

  • The pocks are most numerous on the face, arms and legs.

  • Pocks are usually present on the palms and soles.

  • The rash occurs at the same time, with lesions on any one part of the body in the same stage of development.

  • Scabs that can be infectious begin to form 10 to 14 days after the rash appears.

  • Scabs fall off 14 to 28 days after the rash begins.

  • Pocks are buried deep in the dermis.

  • Vesicles do not collapse on puncture.
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