Madwolf..... I have a couple of questions on smallpox

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by evileva, Feb 13, 2003.

  1. evileva

    evileva New Member

    Hi Madwolf,
    I am 48 years old and had the small pox vaccine when I was about 5 or 6. One of my questions is this, will that vaccine still be good against smallpox or will I have to get another? Or since I already had one will it be dangerous to get another? I never had any problems with the first one it just did what it was supposed to do.
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Bumping for Madwolf.

    Love, Mikie
  3. nancyneptune

    nancyneptune New Member

    on this and I read that the vaccination lasts 50 years. So you'd be right on the cusp so to speak.
  4. karen55

    karen55 New Member

    to me also, then. I'm 47 and had it at age 5 or 6. I just cannot imagine having any more health issues than I already do, so it's something to think about.

  5. Fibromiester

    Fibromiester New Member

    As far as Smallpox- do research. Don't get it if you have any type of herpes, I've read.
    BUT as far as one or two Vaccines....
    What are They, compared to the HUNDREDS of strains of Virus/Bactera-Germ Warfare Weapons???
    Just curious...
  6. sugar_crystal

    sugar_crystal New Member

    Dear Eva,

    Before they stopped giving smallpox vaccinations in 1972, it was "assumed" that they should be repeated every 10 years. Most doctors never did, because there hadn't been an outbreak since the routine of giving vaccinations before the start of school began. However, anyone migrating to this country was supposed to have a smallpox vaccination before they were allowed in. But it only takes one "terrorist" to be innoculated with weapons grade smallpox and then sent here as a tourist to walk our malls and theaters, etc. and contaminate a great part of the population. Anthrax, botulism and some of the others are bacteria and can be treated with antibiotics albeit with with difficulty since so many of the bacteria used would have already been made resistant to most antibiotics. Think how simple it would be to round up some volunteers who would willingly commit suicide for their country to be exposed to this virus and put on commercial jets as tourists. No dog or fluoroscope would ever be able to discover anything. And by the time a great part of the population is exposed it is too late, because the vaccination has to come before the exposure.

    I have worked in hospitals, large ones, for almost 30 years and a hurricane or even a major accident on the Houston freeways can tie up an ER, ICU and medical personnel beyond all reason. Then everyone would have to be quarantined so that it doesn't spread to the schools, churches and everywhere else. Anyone with children knows what havoc a single case of bacterial meningitis found in a school can play.

    By the time all is said and done, more damage is done to our economy and infrastructure by bio warfare than any hi tech weapon can do. Even nuclear bombs have a limited area that is destroyed. Smallpox can spread like wildfire in a population that has never been vaccinated and where anyone can travel anywhere in the country in a 24 hour period.

    As far as repeat vaccinations are concerned, mine and my husband's were repeated in case we travelled to foreign countries when he went into the Navy. Since I can't travel with him because of his designation in the military, only he has to be revaccinated for everything including smallpox every few years, some every year. These usually include yellow fever, typhoid, hepatitis c, and a multitude of others (I don't remember the schedule anymore) and for some countries he starts being treated prophylactically against malaria. So far, no adverse effects. Just a few days of feeling miserable. Kind of like our babies feel after they are vaccinated.

    I personally think it's a mistake to have stopped the vaccinations as they did and also a mistake not to start them again in the general population. The threat is here now against us, not just against the military.

    Somehow the days of Ellis Island where all of the immigrants had to stay for at least two weeks to be checked out are seeming more reasonable all the time. The bubonic plague brought about the Dark Ages in Europe and Smallpox wiped out an average of 25% of the population each time it broke out before Jenner discovered the vaccine.

    It's the little things that are the most dangerous. But guys think it's more fun to play with bigger guns....bigger boys, bigger toys....:)

    Good luck,
  7. evileva

    evileva New Member

    I think that the press are putting too much BAD emphasis on the reactions that can happen and not enough emphasis on what COULD happen if no one got the vaccination. I know that when I was a kid, you were expected to get the vaccine and there were No questions asked. The news media didn't go on and on about what could happen when you were vaccinated. I think there is too much of a scare tactic going on now. I made it through once, I imagine that I will make it through again. Why take the chance ?
  8. evileva

    evileva New Member

  9. sb439

    sb439 New Member

    and I just add it here as it gives a different view.

    Smallpox outbreak: What to do
    July 7, 2002

    “We interrupt the current programming to bring you this important news update…there has been a reported case of smallpox in Washington, D.C…”

    What will happen next? Pandemonium. The press has done its job over the last few months reinforcing the belief that an epidemic is about to occur, potentially causing millions of deaths. Americans thousands of miles from Washington will demand the smallpox vaccine, a vaccine with the highest risk of complications of any vaccine ever manufactured and with a dubious track record for success.

    However, because you are informed, you will have a different response. You will not panic. You will turn off the TV. You won’t listen to your hysterical neighbors. And more importantly, you won’t rush to be vaccinated. Here’s why:

    On June 20, 2002, I attended the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) meeting of the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) and listened to one and a half days of testimony prior to posting the recommendations for smallpox vaccination that are currently being considered by the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS.) Many testimonies and comments were presented by public participants and by various physicians and researchers associated with the CDC. Noting that two weeks have past since the June 20th meeting and the media has still not reported on this historic event, I decided it was imperative to report the content and outcome of this meeting to the general public. After reading this report you will gain a new perspective on smallpox and, hopefully, in the event of an outbreak, you will understand that you have nothing to fear.

    Generally accepted facts

    Nearly every article or news headliner regarding smallpox is designed to instill and continually reinforce fear in the minds of the general public. Apparently the goal is to make everyone demand the vaccine as soon as it is available and/or in the event of an outbreak. A very similar media campaign was developed prior to the release of the Salk polio vaccine in 1955. The polio vaccine had been in development for more than a year prior to its release and was an untested “investigational new drug,” just as the smallpox vaccine will be. The difference is that the potential side effects and complications of the smallpox vaccine are already known, and they are extensive.

    Generally accepted facts about smallpox include:

    1. Smallpox is highly contagious and could spread rapidly, killing millions

    2. Smallpox can be spread by casual contact with an infected person

    3. The death rate from smallpox is thought to be 30%.

    4. There is no treatment for smallpox

    5. The smallpox vaccine will protect a person from getting the disease

    As it turns out, these “accepted facts” are not the “real facts.”

    Myth 1: Smallpox is highly contagious

    “Smallpox has a slow transmission and is not highly contagious,” stated Joel Kuritsky, MD, director of the National Immunization Program and Early Smallpox Response and Planning at the CDC. This statement is a direct contradiction to nearly everything we have ever heard or read about smallpox. However, keep in mind that this comes “straight from the horse’s mouth” and should be considered the “real story” regarding how smallpox is spread.

    Even if a person is exposed to a known bioterrorist attack with smallpox, it doesn’t mean that he will contract smallpox. The signs and symptoms of the disease will not occur immediately, and there is time to plan. The infection has an incubation period of 3 to 17 days, and the first symptom will be the development of a high fever (>101º F), accompanied by nausea, vomiting, headache, severe abdominal cramping and low back pain. The person will be ill and most likely bed-ridden; not out mixing with the general public.

    Even with a fever, it is critically important to realize that at this point the person is still not contagious. In fact, the fever may be caused by something else, such as the flu.

    However, if a smallpox infection is developing, the characteristic rash will begin to develop within two to four days after the onset of the fever. The person becomes contagious and has the ability to spread the infection only after the development of the rash. “The characteristic rash of variola major is difficult to misdiagnose,” stated Walter A. Orenstein, M.D., Director of the National Immunization Program (NIP) at the CDC. The classic smallpox rash is a round, firm pustule that can spread and become confluent. The lesions are all in the same stage of development over the entire body and appear to be distributed more on the palms, soles and face than on the trunk or extremities.

    ACTION ITEM: In the event of an exposure, it is imperative that you do everything you can to improve the functioning of your immune system so that an “exposure” does not have to result in an “outbreak.”

    a. Stop eating all foods that contain refined white sugar products, since sugar inhibits the functioning of your white blood cells, your first line of defense.[ii]

    (There are many other health-conscious dietary considerations to consider, but that is beyond the scope of this article.)

    b. Start taking large doses of Vitamin C. Vitamin C has been proven in hundreds of studies to be effective in protecting the body from viral infections,[iii] including smallpox.[iv] For an extensive scientific review on the use of this nutrient and a “dosing recipe”, read “Vitamin C, The Master Nutrient, by Sandra Goodman, Ph.D.

    c. If you develop a fever, you still have time to plan. Purchase enough fresh, organic produce and filtered water to last three weeks. Move the kids to grandma’s or the neighbor’s house. Remember: YOU MAY NOT GET THE INFECTION AND YOU ARE NOT CONTAGIOUS UNTIL YOU GET THE RASH!

    Myth 2: Smallpox is easily spread by casual contact with an infected person

    Smallpox will not rapidly disseminate throughout the community. Even after the development of the rash, the infection is slow to spread. “The infection is spread by droplet contamination and coughing or sneezing are not generally part of the infection. Smallpox will not spread like wildfire,” said Orenstein. He stated that the spread of smallpox to casual contacts is the “exception to the rule.” Only 8% of cases in Africa were contracted by accidental contact.

    Transmission of smallpox occurs only after intense contact, defined as “constant exposure of a person that is within 6-7 feet for a minimum of 6-7 days.”[v] Dr. Orenstein reported that in Africa, 92% of all cases came from close associations and in India, all cases came from prolonged personal contact. Dr. Tom Mack from the University of Southern California stated that in Pakistan, 27% of cases demonstrated no transmission to close associates. Nearly 37% had a transmission of only one generation, meaning that the second person to contract smallpox did not pass it onto the third person. These statistics directly contradict models that predict an exponential spread to millions.

    Even without medical care, isolation was the best way to stop the spread of smallpox in Third World, population dense areas. With a slow transmission rate and an informed public, Mack estimated that the total number of smallpox cases in America would be less than 10, a far cry from the millions postulated by the press.

    Dr. Kuritsky said at the CDC Public Forum on Smallpox on June 8 in St. Louis, “Given the slow transmission rate and that people need to be in close contact for nearly a week to spread the infection, the scenario in which a terrorist could infect himself with smallpox and contaminate an entire city by walking through the streets touching people is purely fiction.”

    Point to ponder: Mass vaccination was halted in Third World countries because it didn’t work. In India, villages with an 88% vaccination rate still had outbreaks. After the World Health Organization began a surveillance and containment campaign, actively seeking cases of smallpox, isolating them in their homes, and vaccinating family members and close contacts, outbreaks were virtually eliminated within 2 years. The CDC and the WHO organization attribute the eradication of smallpox to the ring vaccination of close contacts. However, since the infection runs its course in 3-6 weeks, perhaps ISOLATION ALONE would have effectively accomplished the same thing.

    Myth #3: The death rate from smallpox is 30%

    Nearly every newspaper and journal article quotes this statistic. However, as pointed out in the presentation by Dr. Tom Mack, it appears that the “30% fatality rate” has come from skewed data. Dr. Mack has worked with smallpox extensively and saw more than 120 outbreaks in Pakistan throughout the early 1970s. Villages would apparently have “an importation” every 5-10 years, regardless of vaccination status, and the outbreak could always be predicated by living conditions and social arrangements. There were many small outbreaks and individual cases that never came to the attention of the local authorities.

    Mack stated that even with poor medical care, the case fatality rate in adults was “much lower than is generally advertised” and thought to be 10-15%. He said that the statistics were “loaded with children that had a much higher fatality,” making the average death rate reported to be much higher. Amazingly, he revealed his opinion that even without mass vaccination, “smallpox would have died out anyway. It just would have taken longer.”

    Even so, people died. Why? After all, smallpox is a skin disease and “other organs are seldom involved.”[vi] I posed this question to the committee on two separate occasions. Kathi Williams of the National Vaccine Information Center asked this question at the Institute of Medicine meeting on June 15th. On June 20, an answer was finally forthcoming when a member of the ACIP committee said, “That is a good question. Does anyone know the actual cause of death from smallpox?”

    At that point, Dr. D.A. Henderson, from the John Hopkins University Department of Epidemiology volunteered a comment. Dr. Henderson directed the World Health Organization's global smallpox eradication campaign (1966-1977) and helped initiate WHO's global program of immunization in 1974. He approached the microphone and stated, “Well, it appears that the cause of death of smallpox is a ‘mystery.’” He stated that a medical resident had been asked to do a complete review of the literature and “not much information” was found. It is postulated that the people died from a “generalized toxemia” and that those with the most severe forms of smallpox—the hemorrhagic or confluent malignant types—died of complications of skin sloughing, similar to a burn. However, he concluded by saying, “it’s frustrating, because we don’t really know.”

    COMMENT: I find this to be extremely frightening. If we knew why people died when they contracted smallpox, perhaps current medical technology could treat the complications, making the death rate much lower. Considering that the last known case of smallpox in the U.S. was in Texas in 1949, continuing to report that smallpox has a 30% death rate is similar to saying that all heart attacks are fatal. Based on 1949 technology, that would be accurate reporting. But in 2002, all heart attacks are NOT fatal. Neither would smallpox have a mortality rate of 30%.

    Myth #4: There is no treatment for smallpox

    A more accurate statement is “there are no pharmaceutical drugs for the treatment for smallpox.” But they are working on that too. There are 274 antiviral drug compounds and testing is underway to see if one can be useful in the treatment of smallpox.[vii] One such drug is called hexadecylosypropyl-cidofovir (HDP-CDV). Not yet available for human use, it has been found to be 100 times more potent than its cousin, cidofovir, a drug used to treat retinal infections in HIV patients. If studies pan out, HDP-CDV will be offered in a pill or capsule form over 5-14 days for the prevention and treatment of people exposed to smallpox.[viii] Unfortunately, this drug is being developed in Europe and will most likely be kept out of the US market until long after the general public has been subjected to mass vaccination.

    It is important to note that there are several different presentations of a smallpox infection. The most common is called “ordinary discrete” smallpox, occurring in more than 40% of the cases. The outbreak is seen as a small scattering of pustules distributed across the body. The person with this type of smallpox needs minimal medical care and the reported death rate is <10%.[ix]

    For mild cases of smallpox, adequate hydration and anti-fever products are essential for comfort and maintaining a temperature below 102ºF. Keeping the skin clean to prevent secondary bacterial infections is also important. A 1927 Textbook of Medicine recommends applying gauzed soaked in carbolic acid to “decrease itching and prevent extensive scarring.”[x] Carbolic acid is used acutely for burns that tend to ulcerate and other skin conditions that cause burning or prickling pain. Homeopathic forms of carbolic acid are also available.

    For the severe complications of smallpox, modern day treatment options are available. The hemorrhagic type of smallpox, occurring in approximately 3% of cases, presents as hypotensive shock and can be treated accordingly. In another 3% of serious cases, the confluent-type has extensive skin involvement. These patients can be treated the same as a burn patient. All severe cases need to be treated for dehydration and watched for signs of bacterial suprainfection.

    Research done by Dr. Peter Havens, MS, MD from the Medical College of Wisconsin postulated that death from smallpox was due to multisystem organ failure, a complication of an untreated acute cytokine (inflammatory) response. Massive oxidative stress occurs, leading to free-radical damage in the kidneys and other internal organs. However, Dr. Havens estimates that modern medical technology would indeed decrease the death rate, to possibly as low as 2-3%.

    COMMENT: The treatment of choice for severe free-radical stress is high dose intravenous Vitamin C. If conventional medicine would recognize the value of this treatment, they would also be forced to realize mass vaccination is simply not necessary.

    Treating severely ill patients would require hospitalization and unfortunately, smallpox spreads the most quickly in the hospital setting due to poor isolation techniques. In addition, most patients in hospitals are ill and immunosuppressed by disease or medication, making them more susceptible to infection. Dr. Mike Lane, former director of the CDC’s smallpox eradication program in the 1970s, said severely ill smallpox patients could be treated in a suburban motel or remote government building. “You can bring care to the patient if you elect to use the Motel 6 on the edge of town” rather than put smallpox victims in a hospital where the disease could spread to patients with weakened immune systems.

    Side bar with Dr. Mike Lane:

    Dr. Lane and I had a private conversation during a coffee break. During his presentation, he had been adamant that those within the “first ring” would need to be mandatorily vaccinated with 100% compliance. The “first ring” includes those that have had immediate, close contact with patients who had confirmed cases of smallpox. Lane stated that this was the only way that “ring vaccination would work.” When I questioned his definition of 100% compliance, he said, “Medical contraindications would not apply…there would be NO exceptions. I would rather vaccinate them and take my chances treating the potential complications. In India, we vaccinated everyone. The only medical contraindication was leprosy, and we sometimes vaccinated them. I’m sure that we killed a few people, but we did the best that we could.”

    I pressed the issue further by saying, “if the death rate really is 30% (which I doubt), doesn’t that mean the survival rate is 70%? Shouldn’t that person have the right to play the odds with his health if he chose to?” His answer was the same: “If the person is exposed, there will be NO exceptions, medical or otherwise. Those people in the first ring—regardless of health status MUST be vaccinated.”

    That means that all people with medical contraindictions—organ transplants, cancer, HIV, eczema and other skin conditions—would be vaccinated, even it was against their will and with the use of force, if necessary. He was quite the zealot about it; hopefully, in the event of a smallpox exposure, more reasonable minds will prevail.

    Myth #5: The vaccine will keep me from getting the infection

    Most people believe that all vaccines work to protect them, meaning that the vaccine will be clinically effective. What most people do not know is that vaccines have never been proven to protect them from getting the infection.

    This little known fact is not only true for all vaccines, it is also true for the smallpox vaccine. Here are a few examples:

    Chickenpox vaccine:

    “No data exists regarding post-exposure efficacy of the current varicella vaccine.”

    “Vaccinated persons have a less severe out break than unvaccinated”

    (300 vs. 50 lesions.)[xi]

    Pertussis vaccine:

    "The findings of efficacy studies have not demonstrated a direct correlation between antibody response and protection against pertussis disease.”[xii]

    Smallpox vaccine:

    “Neutralizing antibodies are reported to reflect levels of protection, although this has not been validated in the field.” [xiii]

    Dr. Harold Margolis, Senior Advisor to the Director for Smallpox Planning and Response, stated in Atlanta that “the vaccine decreased the death rate among those vaccinated by ‘modifying the disease’, not by preventing infection.”


    Smallpox is NOT highly contagious. You have time. Don’t panic.
    Smallpox is only spread by close contact of less than 6 feet for at least 6-7 days. You aren’t that close to coworkers or commuters.
    Treatment for smallpox should be surveillance and containment, without vaccination.
    Smallpox is not highly fatal. There are treatments for smallpox.
    The vaccine will not protect you from getting the infection. The vaccine has high complication rates, is an experimental drug and there are many contraindications.

    [This Message was Edited on 02/15/2003]
  10. sugar_crystal

    sugar_crystal New Member

    Dear Eva,

    I realize that what Susanne says about our rights to decide whether we want to be vaccinated or not are true, as things stand right now. But, because of current events, whether stirred by the nonsense the media says or not, Mexico recently carried out a program of vaccinating approximately 98% of it's population against smallpox. Nurses even went to people's homes, knocked on the door and gave the vaccination to whoever was there. If Mom and Dad were out and only the children were there, the vaccination process was carried out and a note was placed on the house that it had been done. National records were kept to make sure that all of the population had been covered.

    As a child, I grew up on a farm. Every year the creeks would flood. One year there must have been a case of Typhoid reported (I was too young to really know). Public Health sent nurses into the school to vaccinate us against Typhoid. The parents weren't asked to sign anything. Someone ordered that it be done and it was carried out. We were lined up and vaccinated (one injection per week for three weeks). After the first, we were sent home from school early because it makes you sick as a dog.

    Nowadays, there would have been a class action lawsuit against the school, the Public Health system, etc. Then the next time, the vaccinations would be up to the parent's discretion and a possible epidemic may occur. I still feel it is easier and medically less expensive to stop a problem before it starts. Yes, smallpox can be treated after it has been contracted or at least the symptoms can, but instead of a few cents for the cost of a vaccination, thousands of dollars will be spent on treating something that might have been prevented. The vaccination doesn't always stop someone from contracting the disease, but it can lessen the severity of it.

    As far as the rhetoric involved in debating the subject of should we or shouldn't we be vaccinated or whatever, rest assured that if we DO go to war, that's all it will be is rhetoric.

    Most people don't realize what the military has to do to its soldiers and sailors to protect them when they go overseas. But the war has been brought home and I'm afraid that we are going to have to learn first hand what it takes to protect people against the bugs and chemicals that our military has been protecting US from because they are our first line of defense.

    This was not in the news. Most of what is happening is not in the news today. It makes for a better story that there are occasionally adverse reactions. Because the word "occasional" is left out. If you read in the PDR (the Physician's Desk Reference" on pharmacology) you will see that are adverse reactions to every drug we take. Just as every disease starts with a headache (an old medical joke), everything, however the most innocuous, that we put into our bodies could have an adverse reaction and I emphasize the word could. If one person dies after taking a new cardiac medicine, it goes into the research as "less than 1%" of the patients receiving that medication will die. It doesn't factor in all of the other things that could have caused the death, whether style of living or reaction to some other drug the person was taking.

    As far as whether it was right for Mexico to do what it did, everyone should remember that right now all of our military is vaccinated against everything they could possibly come into contact with (even if it takes more than casual contact to contract the disease). They have no choice if they wish to stay in the military. There have been few adverse reactions reported and it helps keep our men on the defense lines safe. Only one of the vaccinations causing problems made the news. Anthrax vaccinations caused headaches in a high percentage of those that received it.

    It should also be remembered that if we DO have an all out war, a lot of our "civil rights" will be gone for a while. As the War Powers Act is invoked, the whole world changes for us. The Draft could be put back into place. It's only been on hiatus. The Selective Service Board is still in place and our boys still have to turn in that little card when they turn 18. If the government says that we have to be vaccinated against whatever (not just smallpox) it will have to be done. All of this is law and has been for many years.

    Would I be willing to take the Smallpox vaccination again if it were offered, I would. I was not vaccinated against any of the childhood diseases and I contracted all of them. My parents did not believe in going to the doctor unless there was blood involved or a limb missing. I received the smallpox vaccination because you couldn't go to school without it and then received the Typhoid vaccination as stated above.

    Just another point of view,

    All my prayers and LOL,
  11. sb439

    sb439 New Member

    ... what I posted is not my view. I agree with some of it, disagree with some other things, and I don't have the scientific knowledge to judge most of it. I just wanted to give it for people to consider in order to get to the informed decision madwolf so rightly recommends to all of us.

  12. evileva

    evileva New Member

    I am so glad that everybody is contributing to the question, at least with discussing all of the options, everyone will be able to make an informed decision when the time comes.
    JellyBelly, I don't remember getting sick at all from the vaccine and believe me I was a sickly little kid who caught everything. I guess my point is, since we all have trouble with our immune systems, I personally think it would be better to get the vaccine rather than try to fight the smallpox if I got it.
    Thanks everybody!
    [This Message was Edited on 02/15/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 02/15/2003]
  13. healing

    healing New Member

    Crystal, I think you have brought up many important points. Of course I do, they echo my own thinking!
    Well said.