Know The Difference Between Smallpox and Chickenpox

Somya Verma

, Health A2Z


In our childhood, some diseases would scare us more than anything else. Among them was Chickenpox. Though the name sounds funny, the condition is not. Yet, we have another disease with a similar name, smallpox. Most of us would wonder what is the difference between Smallpox and Chickenpox. The names and similarities of the rashes and conditions should not trick you into believing them to be the same. This writeup would help you find the differences between the two, based on different parameters.


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What is Smallpox?


An epidemic in the early 20th Century, smallpox has believed to be the cause of death of 300 million people. Smallpox was an infectious disease caused by one of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The last naturally occurring case was diagnosed in October 1977 and the World Health Organization (WHO) certified the global eradication of the disease in 1980.

What is Chickenpox?


A milder yet extremely painful condition, which might happen to you at any age. Chickenpox is also known as varicella, it is a highly contagious infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus.


Differences Between Smallpox and Chickenpox


Like mentioned earlier these two are distinct diseases that cannot be considered the same at any level. There might be similar symptoms but they aren’t the same.


1) Chickenpox exists but Smallpox does not


As mentioned, WHO had declared the eradication of the particular disease long back. On the other hand, chickenpox was a very common illness, especially in kids. It made about 4 million people sick every year. The chickenpox vaccine has made it much rarer. But people still catch it every year.


2) Sores


When we are considering about sores. The chickenpox sores are found in different parts of the body at different times. It is mainly in the areas of the neck and torso. While when talking about smallpox sores, they would come all at once on the body. A significant difference between smallpox and chickenpox.


3) Chickenpox is Mild but Smallpox is Deadly


Chickenpox might be milder than that of smallpox. As already written, it has been an epidemic as far as smallpox is concerned. It is assumed to have killed 3 out of 10 people who have it. Those who were lucky enough were living with lost eyesight or permanent ugly scars.


4) Vaccination


While chickenpox is a mild disease for most, it can sometimes cause dangerous problems mostly for babies, adults, and people with weak immune systems. That’s why doctors recommend that all kids get the vaccine. The announcement of eradication of smallpox led to no such need of getting vaccination after 1972. This is one of the major differences between smallpox and chickenpox.


The difference between smallpox and chickenpox are very evident above. One should not confuse them by their name. The way both of them have affected people are also very different. To get an instant appointment or consultation regarding Smallpox and Chickenpox treatment, you can contact us on Whatsapp (+91 9654030724) or email us at, regarding our services. Our team will get back to you as soon as possible.


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