Smallpox infor from Wash Post

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JaciBart, Dec 6, 2002.

  1. JaciBart

    JaciBart Member

    source: washington post dot com


    Smallpox Vaccine Reactions Jolt Experts
    From Rashes to Fevers, Array of Side Effects Is Uncommon Today

    By Ceci Connolly
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, December 5, 2002; Page A01


    As physical specimens, the Baylor University students were fit and healthy, the "crème de la crème," in the words of researcher Kathy Edwards. Yet when she inoculated them with smallpox vaccine, arms swelled, temperatures spiked and panic spread.

    It was the same at clinics in Iowa, Tennessee and California. Of 200 young adults who received the vaccine as part of a recent government study, one-third missed at least one day of work or school, 75 had high fevers, and several were put on antibiotics because physicians worried that their blisters signaled a bacterial infection.

    Even for experts such as Edwards, the Vanderbilt University physician overseeing the study, the side effects were startling. "I can read all day about it, but seeing it is quite impressive," she said. "The reactions we saw were really quite remarkable."

    President Bush is poised to announce plans, perhaps as early as this week, to resume vaccinating Americans against smallpox as part of a massive push to protect the nation from a biological assault. As he weighs the decision, researchers are becoming reacquainted with the unpleasant -- often severe -- complications of the vaccine.

    The experiences in a half-dozen clinical trials offer an early look at what military personnel, hospital workers and other emergency workers will likely encounter if Bush adopts the recommendations of his top health advisers to vaccinate as many as 11 million people in the coming months. What is disconcerting, say the people participating in the clinical trials, is that when it comes to smallpox vaccination, what had once been considered ordinary is rather extraordinary by today's standards.

    "I just wanted to go to bed for a day or two there," said Alison Francis, a New York University graduate student who received the vaccine. Francis, 24, said she felt tired and achy after getting her shot. Her arm was heavy, warm to the touch and terribly itchy. "I thought, 'Can you just chop off my arm?' "

    Participating in the study was part patriotism and part selfishness, she said. "Now I'm protected."

    Once among the deadliest scourges on earth, smallpox was declared eradicated worldwide in 1981. But growing hostilities with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and others have renewed fears that the virus could be used as a potent, stealthy weapon. Vaccination is surefire protection against the disease, but it is risky. For every 1 million vaccinated, between 15 and 52 people will suffer life-threatening consequences such as brain inflammation, and one or two will die, according to historical data. Pregnant women, babies, people with eczema or weakened immune systems should not receive the vaccine.

    Federal health officials have proposed resuming vaccination in stages, beginning with as many as 500,000 hospital workers most likely to see an initial case. Later, as many as 10 million police, fire and medical personnel would be offered the vaccine. The Pentagon hopes to vaccinate 500,000 soldiers.

    Over the past year, federal researchers have been testing the 40-year-old vaccine for its safety and potency. None of the 1,500 volunteers has died or been seriously injured by the vaccine. But even the most mundane cases can be disturbing to doctors and patients unaccustomed to the live virus used in the vaccine and its side effects.

    Unlike most modern vaccines, the smallpox vaccine is administered by 15 quick pricks that "establish an infection in your skin," said Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. "There is the immediate discomfort of getting poked in the arm and a range of annoying reactions."

    Within three to four days, a red itchy bump develops, followed by a larger blister filled with pus. In the second week, the blister dries and turns into a scab that usually falls off in the third week. During the three weeks, many people experience flu-like symptoms -- aches, fever, lethargy -- and terrible itchiness.

    "You can't scratch it; it's all bandaged up; all I could do was smack it," said Meg Gifford, a University of Maryland junior who participated in one study. For a weekend, she was "pretty miserable," suffering from a slight fever, an arm that was hot to the touch and swollen lymph nodes in her armpit.

    At the University of Rochester Medical Center, researcher John Treanor saw a wide range of reactions, from a small rash to swelling the size of a grapefruit. About 5 percent of the 170 participants had rashes that spread to other parts of the body. It took time and experience, he said, for the team to get comfortable with the natural course of the vaccine.

    "The reactions we are seeing are totally out of line with today's vaccine experience and absolutely in line with historical experience," said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "In the 30 years since we had routine vaccination, the public's tolerance level has gone way down."

    Maryland researchers have begun a second trial revaccinating older adults to see how much immunity stays in the system. Early indications are that people who have been previously inoculated do not suffer as many severe side effects. "I had a small red mark and that was about it," said Edward Dudley, 33.

    Very few of today's physicians have administered the vaccine or treated its side effects. Even at the CDC, where health experts work with an array of germs, smallpox vaccinations were briefly halted when 10 people had serious enough reactions to begin antibiotics, said Walter Orenstein, director of the CDC's National Immunization Program.

    "The clinic physician couldn't decide if this was a normal, primary exuberant take or a bacterial infection," he said. He added that, in fact, the swollen, itchy, red arms were routine.

    As a first-year medical student 33 years ago, Orenstein was so alarmed by the fever, swollen glands and red streak up his arm after he was vaccinated that he went to the emergency room for antibiotics. "I respect this vaccine," he said.

    If Bush moves forward with vaccination, Edwards warns doctors to expect the array of unsightly, unfamiliar complications that will come.

    "You are going to have to be prepared to see these individuals and to see really bad takes," she told state health officers. "You'll wonder if they are bacterial infections; in some cases the rash will move up the arm and onto the chest. The vaccinee requires a lot of TLC."




    © 2002 The Washington Post Company
  2. JaciBart

    JaciBart Member

    source: washington post dot com


    Smallpox Vaccine Reactions Jolt Experts
    From Rashes to Fevers, Array of Side Effects Is Uncommon Today

    By Ceci Connolly
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, December 5, 2002; Page A01


    As physical specimens, the Baylor University students were fit and healthy, the "crème de la crème," in the words of researcher Kathy Edwards. Yet when she inoculated them with smallpox vaccine, arms swelled, temperatures spiked and panic spread.

    It was the same at clinics in Iowa, Tennessee and California. Of 200 young adults who received the vaccine as part of a recent government study, one-third missed at least one day of work or school, 75 had high fevers, and several were put on antibiotics because physicians worried that their blisters signaled a bacterial infection.

    Even for experts such as Edwards, the Vanderbilt University physician overseeing the study, the side effects were startling. "I can read all day about it, but seeing it is quite impressive," she said. "The reactions we saw were really quite remarkable."

    President Bush is poised to announce plans, perhaps as early as this week, to resume vaccinating Americans against smallpox as part of a massive push to protect the nation from a biological assault. As he weighs the decision, researchers are becoming reacquainted with the unpleasant -- often severe -- complications of the vaccine.

    The experiences in a half-dozen clinical trials offer an early look at what military personnel, hospital workers and other emergency workers will likely encounter if Bush adopts the recommendations of his top health advisers to vaccinate as many as 11 million people in the coming months. What is disconcerting, say the people participating in the clinical trials, is that when it comes to smallpox vaccination, what had once been considered ordinary is rather extraordinary by today's standards.

    "I just wanted to go to bed for a day or two there," said Alison Francis, a New York University graduate student who received the vaccine. Francis, 24, said she felt tired and achy after getting her shot. Her arm was heavy, warm to the touch and terribly itchy. "I thought, 'Can you just chop off my arm?' "

    Participating in the study was part patriotism and part selfishness, she said. "Now I'm protected."

    Once among the deadliest scourges on earth, smallpox was declared eradicated worldwide in 1981. But growing hostilities with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and others have renewed fears that the virus could be used as a potent, stealthy weapon. Vaccination is surefire protection against the disease, but it is risky. For every 1 million vaccinated, between 15 and 52 people will suffer life-threatening consequences such as brain inflammation, and one or two will die, according to historical data. Pregnant women, babies, people with eczema or weakened immune systems should not receive the vaccine.

    Federal health officials have proposed resuming vaccination in stages, beginning with as many as 500,000 hospital workers most likely to see an initial case. Later, as many as 10 million police, fire and medical personnel would be offered the vaccine. The Pentagon hopes to vaccinate 500,000 soldiers.

    Over the past year, federal researchers have been testing the 40-year-old vaccine for its safety and potency. None of the 1,500 volunteers has died or been seriously injured by the vaccine. But even the most mundane cases can be disturbing to doctors and patients unaccustomed to the live virus used in the vaccine and its side effects.

    Unlike most modern vaccines, the smallpox vaccine is administered by 15 quick pricks that "establish an infection in your skin," said Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. "There is the immediate discomfort of getting poked in the arm and a range of annoying reactions."

    Within three to four days, a red itchy bump develops, followed by a larger blister filled with pus. In the second week, the blister dries and turns into a scab that usually falls off in the third week. During the three weeks, many people experience flu-like symptoms -- aches, fever, lethargy -- and terrible itchiness.

    "You can't scratch it; it's all bandaged up; all I could do was smack it," said Meg Gifford, a University of Maryland junior who participated in one study. For a weekend, she was "pretty miserable," suffering from a slight fever, an arm that was hot to the touch and swollen lymph nodes in her armpit.

    At the University of Rochester Medical Center, researcher John Treanor saw a wide range of reactions, from a small rash to swelling the size of a grapefruit. About 5 percent of the 170 participants had rashes that spread to other parts of the body. It took time and experience, he said, for the team to get comfortable with the natural course of the vaccine.

    "The reactions we are seeing are totally out of line with today's vaccine experience and absolutely in line with historical experience," said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "In the 30 years since we had routine vaccination, the public's tolerance level has gone way down."

    Maryland researchers have begun a second trial revaccinating older adults to see how much immunity stays in the system. Early indications are that people who have been previously inoculated do not suffer as many severe side effects. "I had a small red mark and that was about it," said Edward Dudley, 33.

    Very few of today's physicians have administered the vaccine or treated its side effects. Even at the CDC, where health experts work with an array of germs, smallpox vaccinations were briefly halted when 10 people had serious enough reactions to begin antibiotics, said Walter Orenstein, director of the CDC's National Immunization Program.

    "The clinic physician couldn't decide if this was a normal, primary exuberant take or a bacterial infection," he said. He added that, in fact, the swollen, itchy, red arms were routine.

    As a first-year medical student 33 years ago, Orenstein was so alarmed by the fever, swollen glands and red streak up his arm after he was vaccinated that he went to the emergency room for antibiotics. "I respect this vaccine," he said.

    If Bush moves forward with vaccination, Edwards warns doctors to expect the array of unsightly, unfamiliar complications that will come.

    "You are going to have to be prepared to see these individuals and to see really bad takes," she told state health officers. "You'll wonder if they are bacterial infections; in some cases the rash will move up the arm and onto the chest. The vaccinee requires a lot of TLC."




    © 2002 The Washington Post Company
  3. dojomo

    dojomo New Member

    I think that our conditions already exclude us from having to recieve the vaccine ....... but this is really spinning into totally ridiculous.....

    Bush is really starting to scare me.....what are his motives ?? Is small pox really that big of a threat?? ...Haven't we sickened enough medical workers ??

    Bush would have to share more intelligence with the American people that Saddam is that much a threat...Prove to us that he even HAS the stuff.. I haven't seen enough proof...not enough to get parnoid and get a vaccine for something that doesn't exist..... If he does have it..he is a bigger threat to himself with it....

    In order for Saddam to infect our entire country, at one time..The virus must already BE HERE..in strategic positions all over the country...waiting to be unleashed, if that is the case...our military needs to be HERE defending our homeland...

    If it is NOT already here and hidden in Iraq...the UN inspectors will find it...and it is a bigger threat to Saddom than us.

    I HAVE seen what Bin Laden can do.......I feel more threatened by him.......Does Pr. Bush really have our best interest at heart?

    I wonder if he has been vaccinated yet.............?
  4. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Thats Jaci, have printed it out. I don't recall all of this stuff happening when I was a kid.

    Like it said, maybe we were healthier way back, then people are today.

    Thanks for putting this on the board.

    Shalom, Shirl
  5. kay

    kay New Member

    Doesn't it make you wonder who, the real terriost(sp) ARE????? HUMMMMMMM
  6. dojomo

    dojomo New Member


    Viability As A Bioterrorist Weapon:

    Variola is a relatively stable virus in the natural environment and may retain its infectivity for as long as 24 to 48 hours if it is aerosolized and not exposed to sunlight or ultraviolet light. There are several delivery routes that have been discussed if smallpox were to be used as a bioterrorist weapon to cause large numbers of infections in a population: release of the virus into a building, subway or airplane ventilation system or an area-wide drop of the virus by a plane or missile. Each of these theoretical scenarios requires that the terrorists:

    (1) have succeeded in obtaining the smallpox virus from one of the official laboratory storage facilities in the US or Russia or from a country which has secretly obtained the virus;

    (2) have the technical expertise and laboratory facilities to culture and maintain the viability of the virus;

    (3) have the ability to transport the virus in liquid or powder form without destroying its effectiveness;

    (4) have the technology to deliver it to large numbers of susceptible people.  
      
    Some have hypothesized that several "volunteer" infected carriers could silently transmit the disease, perhaps in large cities during the first week of the contagious period before the characteristic smallpox lesions appeared on their faces and limbs. Theoretically, this could happen although it would not be as effective as delivery of the organism to large numbers of people in a wide area. Still, even one person carrying smallpox could cause others to become infected who, in turn, could infect others.

    Reportedly, in 1970 a single smallpox infected man returning to Germany from Pakistan caused the direct or indirect infection of 19 others in a German hospital. In 1970, virtually everyone in Europe and the U.S. had been vaccinated against smallpox.

    [This Message was Edited on 12/06/2002]
    [This Message was Edited on 12/06/2002]