Poxvirus (Smallpox and Molluscum contagiosum)



Poxvirus (Smallpox and Molluscum contagiosum)

Integumentary system


Poxvirus (Smallpox and Molluscum contagiosum)


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USMLE® Step 1 questions

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Poxvirus (Smallpox and Molluscum contagiosum)

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USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

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A 4-year-old girl is brought to her pediatrician for evaluation of skin lesions. The patient’s mother noticed several bumpy skin lesions on her daughter's arm earlier this week. The patient is currently attending daycare and scraped her knee last week but is otherwise healthy. She has not been exposed to any sick contacts, and none of her family members have similar lesions. Vital signs are within normal limits, and physical examination is notable for the following finding:

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These lesions are nontender to palpation. The pathogen responsible for this patient’s clinical presentation was most likely transmitted in which of the following manners?  

External References

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Molluscum contagiosum p. 161, 491

Papules p. 489

molluscum contagiosum p. 491


molluscum contagiosum p. 491


Poxviruses are a family of viruses that cause a range of diseases in humans and animals, including smallpox and molluscum contagiosum. Smallpox is a highly contagious and often fatal disease caused by the variola virus, a member of the poxvirus family. It is characterized by fever, fatigue, and a distinctive rash. Molluscum contagiosum is a skin infection caused by a poxvirus and is characterized by small, firm, raised bumps on the skin. It is contagious and can spread through direct contact or contact with infected items.


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