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Vaccinated People Can Transmit Vaccinia Virus

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    NHNE News List Current Members: 720 Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message. ... VACCINATED PEOPLE CAN TRANSMIT VACCINIA VIRUS By Gina
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 17, 2002
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      VACCINATED PEOPLE CAN TRANSMIT VACCINIA VIRUS
      By Gina Hill
      CNN
      Tuesday, October 15, 2002

      http://www.cnn.com/2002/HEALTH/conditions/10/15/smallpox.danger/index.html

      (CNN) -- Experts poring over data from past widespread smallpox vaccinations
      conclude the live virus used in the vaccine may result in cases of contact
      vaccinia -- the spreading of the vaccinia virus from someone recently
      vaccinated to someone who has not had the shot.

      Vaccinia, a less virulent relative of smallpox, is the live virus used in
      smallpox vaccinations. People with skin disorders like eczema can spread the
      virus across their own skin and potentially infect others who aren't
      vaccinated. The vaccinia virus may cause a rash, fever and head or body
      aches.

      The researchers, led by Dr. John Neff, a former researcher with the Center
      for Disease Control and Prevention's Smallpox Eradication Program, discussed
      what they found in a commentary in this week's Journal of the American
      Medical Association released today.

      Their research focused on mass vaccinations in the United States, United
      Kingdom and Sweden from 1947 to 1968. Overall, in the U.S. studies, the rate
      of contact vaccinia was in the range of 2 to 6 per 100,000 vaccinations.

      The majority of cases -- a few of which resulted in death -- occurred in
      children with eczema, a skin disorder characterized by itchy red skin and
      even blisters in severe cases. And the disease was more likely to be spread
      to people with a history of eczema even though they had no active skin
      lesions.

      Age distribution of those U.S. cases shows young people are more vulnerable
      to contact vaccinia:

      * Younger than 1 year: 25 cases

      * One to 4 years of age: 113 cases

      * Five to 19 years of age: 40 cases

      * Twenty years or older: 44 cases

      That translates to 62 percent of the cases occurring in children 5 years old
      or younger and almost 20 percent in those 20 years or older, according to
      the study.

      Most cases happened in the home, with many victims getting the virus from
      vaccinated family members or playmates. In rare cases, transmission occurred
      from a vaccinated nurse to a patient.

      "The risk (of contact vaccinia) is not large," the researchers write. "This
      risk needs to be kept in perspective."

      But they do admit that -- in this day and age -- we're more susceptible than
      past generations. Why?

      * Since widespread smallpox vaccinations stopped in 1972, almost everyone
      born since then has no immunity to vaccinia, according to the authors. If
      vaccinated, this group could spread the virus for up to 19 days. Even those
      who have had a smallpox shot in the past could shed more of the virus and
      for a longer period of time depending on how long it's been since their last
      vaccination and how many shots they've had in all. In short, most people
      born before 1972 have had only one smallpox shot and they would probably
      react as if they've never had one at all.

      * Eczema -- also called atopic dermatitis -- is more prevalent today. In
      the United States, rates have increased from 3 percent to 6 percent to 6 to
      22 percent in the past 30 years, according to the researchers.

      * Today there are more people with weak immune systems. The authors
      theorize that's likely due to the spread of HIV and wider use of drugs to
      suppress the immune system for cancer patients and organ transplant
      recipients, for example. "Contact vaccinia in this population could be
      especially serious," the authors write.

      Preparation and a carefully crafted vaccine policy is key to keeping contact
      vaccinia under control should mass smallpox vaccinations become a reality,
      according to the commentary.

      They recommend public health officials carefully screen for those with a
      history of eczema and compromised immune systems. The public should be
      informed about how contact vaccinia is spread and how to avoid it. Finally,
      a surveillance system needs to be in place to document and track adverse
      reactions to the vaccine.

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      RELATED WEBSITES:

      SMALLPOX VACCINATION 101:
      http://smallpoxvaccination101.com/

      NATIONAL VACCINE INFORMATION CENTER (NVIC):
      http://www.909shot.com

      DR. CLASSEN'S VACCINE SITE:
      http://www.vaccines.net/%c2%a0

      IMMUNIZATIONS:
      http://www.pcslink.com/~klove/immunize.htm

      VACCINE INFORMATION AND AWARENESS (VIA) WEB SITE:
      http://www.access1.net/via/

      CONCERNED PARENTS FOR VACCINE SAFETY:
      http://home.sprynet.com/~gyrene/index.htm

      ANTHRAX VACCINE INFORMATION:
      http://www.anthraxvaccine.org

      VACCINATION NEWS:
      http://www.vaccinationnews.com

      VACCINEWEBSITE.COM:
      http://www.vaccinewebsite.com

      DR. TIM O'SHEA'S THEDOCTORWITHIN.COM:
      http://www.thedoctorwithin.com/index1.html


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