How is smallpox different from chickenpox?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Smallpox is sometimes confused with chickenpox, but it is much more serious a disease. Chickenpox is seldom fatal. Chickenpox lesions are not as severe and legions progress rapidly, although they may be in different stages of development on the body. You can be contagious with chickenpox before you have symptoms, but smallpox is infectious only after symptoms begin to appear.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.