Navigation Links
Sex With Recent Smallpox Vaccine Recipient Can Lead to Illness

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- After having sex with a soldier recently vaccinated against smallpox, a young woman in Washington state developed an illness caused by the vaccinia virus used in the shot, U.S. health officials report.

This type of viral transmission, while rare, is not unheard of, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The patient visited an urgent care clinic with painful, ring-shaped vaginal swelling," explained Andrea McCollum, an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the CDC. "A few days before that, she had sexual contact with her boyfriend who was a recent smallpox vaccinee via the military."

Although smallpox is now almost eradicated, U.S. military personnel have been vaccinated in recent years as a precaution against the potential use of the virus in a biological attack. The smallpox vaccine comes in the form of a live vaccine, so there is always some risk of infection, McCollum said. "The vaccine is not smallpox virus," she stressed, "but it's a closely related virus called vaccinia."

Although the woman told her doctor about her possible exposure to smallpox vaccine via sexual contact with her recently vaccinated boyfriend, the doctor tested her for common STDs but did not test for vaccinia, according to the report published in the July 1 issue of the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Despite taking the antibiotics and antiviral medications that the doctor had prescribed, the woman continued having lesions and pain for the next three days, McCollum said.

A second doctor then sent her to an infectious disease specialist who confirmed that she had the vaccinia virus.

Vaccinia is relatively mild compared to smallpox, and the woman did not need any specific treatment. She did suffer some pain, soreness and irritation, which eventually resolved, McCollum said.

However, "we were quite concerned that she might transmit it to her household contacts," McCollum said, because one of her roommates had had a kidney transplant. The transplant patient was immunosuppressed and taking a lot of medication. "A vaccinia virus infection, particularly in an immunosuppressed individual, can be very serious and life-threatening," McCollum noted.

McCollum noted that there have been other cases of this infection transmitted from smallpox-vaccinated individuals to others. "At CDC, we don't know about every case of vaccinia that occurs," she said.

Including this case, the CDC is aware of five similar cases occurring over the past year, she said. "All the cases were women presenting with genital lesions that had had recent sexual contact exposure to military vaccinees."

In addition to military personnel, others who are vaccinated include some health care workers and laboratory personnel who work with the virus, McCollum said.

In terms of immunizations generally, McCollum said the danger of transmitting a virus via a recent vaccination is present with vaccines that contain what's known as live virus. Most vaccines -- including most childhood and flu vaccines -- are made from the killed virus, and therefore pose no such danger, she said.

Infectious disease expert Dr. Marc Siegel, an associate professor of medicine at New York University in New York City, said that "smallpox vaccine being a live virus, there is a two-to-three-week period when you are still infectious from the vaccination site and you have to be very careful to cover it."

The oral polio vaccine is another live-attenuated vaccine, which has in very rare instances been associated with causing polio, Siegel noted.

However, the vast majority of vaccines utilize killed virus so this is not a problem with them, he reiterated. "One exception is the inhaled flu vaccine. You could transmit influenza in a very weakened form to an immunocompromised person," he said. "But vaccinia is more infectious than that."

"This is a reminder that live virus vaccines, which are increasingly in disuse, carry their own risk of minor infection and should not be used in immunocompromised people," Siegel said.

Live virus vaccines do have one advantage, in that they create a stronger immune response than do killed virus vaccines, Siegel added.

More information

For more information on smallpox, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Andrea McCollum, Ph.D., Epidemic Intelligence Service officer, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Marc Siegel, M.D., associate professor, medicine, New York University, New York City; July 1, 2010, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Dr. Randolph C. Robinson Recently Awarded AAOMS (American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons) Humanitarian Award
2. Recent Study Confirms that Eating a Low Calorie Diet Can Boost Your Immune System
3. Construction Accident Lawyer Says Recent News Of Mine Disaster Holds Lessons For Construction Safety
4. Recent Book Moves Beyond Defensive Medicine, Tackles Entitlement Reform
5. Recent Studies Show MAstertuck℠ Technique Removes Large Amounts of Body Fat without Tummy Tuck Surgery
6. The University of Atlanta to Launch Second International Cohort of Recently Inaugurated and much acclaimed DBA Degree Program in Managerial Science
7. Recent Survey Reveals That Physicians Overwhelmingly Support Patient Compensation When Harmed
8. Recent Earthquakes Across the World Underscore the Importance of Emergency Preparedness Supplies and Survival Kits for Individuals, Families and Businesses
9. Natures Peak Products Along With Company President Paul Wilkinson Were Recently Featured on Segment of Lifetime TV Networks Nationally Broadcast Show The Balancing Act
10. Delcath Systems to Conduct Conference Call to Update Investors on Recent Progress
11. Labopharm announces underwriters exercise of over-allotment option for recent public offering
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Sex With Recent Smallpox Vaccine Recipient Can Lead to Illness
(Date:11/29/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 29, 2015 , ... Effective immediately, ... In addition starting on Black Friday Target is offering a “Buy One Scrub ... This is a rare opportunity to purchase IguanaMed at a discounted price. ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 28, 2015 , ... Trying to ... has created the COUCH BUDDY. "I conceived of this design due to personal experience ... for couch users. It promotes relaxation and convenience, as well as increases support. It ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... conversation at the recent 2015 American Dental Association meeting in Washington D.C. revolved around ... help protect a patient’s overall health. The talk stressed the link between periodontal disease ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... A team of ... ways to treat it. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted the findings on the website. ... Hospital Zurich analyzed the cases of 136 mesothelioma patients who were treated with chemotherapy ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The print component of “Supporting ... Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Minneapolis, South Florida, with a circulation of approximately 250,000 ... through a vast social media strategy and across a network of top news ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... ) ... "2016 Global Tumor Marker Testing Market: Supplier ... Segment Forecasts, Innovative Technologies, Instrumentation Review, Competitive ... offering. --> ) has ... Global Tumor Marker Testing Market: Supplier Shares ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26 november 2015 AAIPharma Services ... geplande investering aan van ten minste $15,8 ... en het mondiale hoofdkantoor in ... resulteren in extra kantoorruimte en extra capaciteit ... groeiende behoeften van de farmaceutische en biotechnologische ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 --> ... SyMRI to find optimal contrast weighting of MRI for ... has signed a research agreement with SyntheticMR in order to ... SyMRI, it is possible to generate multiple contrast images from ... patient has left, thus making it possible to both fine ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: