Identify, Diagnose, and Isolate Cases

Medical providers will contact their state health department if they suspect a patient of theirs might have smallpox. CDC will also consult with state or local public health departments and the patient’s medical team to confirm or rule out the disease, especially for the first patient(s) who present with a rash illness suggestive of smallpox. 

Take steps now to ensure your department and local healthcare providers will communicate and collaborate easily in an emergency.

  • Document contact information for the different roles needed during an outbreak. Identify individuals, if possible. Distribute the list and include email addresses and phone numbers. Make sure this list includes the best way to contact key individuals during non-business hours. Schedule regular reviews to make sure this list stays up-to-date.
  • Inventory the number, location, and typical availability of Airborne-Infection Isolation Rooms (AIIR) in the community. Also determine the surge capacity of the healthcare facilities with AIIRs. 
  • Work with healthcare facilities to determine procedures to ensure probable or confirmed smallpox patients could be isolated in an AIIR or transferred to a facility with an available AIIR as quickly as possible.