Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smallpox Vaccine May Cause Harmless Skin Rashes

Date:
March 18, 2004
Source:
Infectious Diseases Society Of America
Summary:
People who have never received a smallpox vaccination may develop any of a variety of benign skin rashes a few days after getting vaccinated for smallpox that should not be confused with a more serious complication of the vaccine, according to an article in the April 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online.

People who have never received a smallpox vaccination may develop any of a variety of benign skin rashes a few days after getting vaccinated for smallpox that should not be confused with a more serious complication of the vaccine, according to an article in the April 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online.

Related Articles


Vaccinia is a virus used to immunize people against smallpox. The study examined 350 adult volunteers, 250 of whom were "vaccinia-naοve," or had never been vaccinated for smallpox before, and 100 of whom were "vaccinia-experienced," or had previously received a smallpox vaccination. Of the vaccinia-naοve, 3.6 percent developed some type of skin rash 6-19 days after being vaccinated. Symptoms usually included itching, redness and small bumps on the skin, and some patients also complained of headaches.

The five different types of rashes described in the article were all "self-limiting"--that is, they cleared up on their own after one to three weeks--and were not accompanied by fever or any other serious symptoms. The harmlessness of the vaccinia-associated skin rashes makes the findings important, according to Dr. Richard Greenberg, lead author of the study, which took place from July of 2002 to February of 2003.

"Physicians need to know that [the skin reactions] are benign and can be treated with medicines such as antihistamine," said Dr. Greenberg of the University of Kentucky School of Medicine. Doctors who realize that the rashes are not dangerous can offer reassurance to concerned patients and prescribe appropriate medications for symptom relief.

A physician who is unaware of the possibility for a benign skin reaction might wrongly assume that a patient's rash was the development of one of the more dangerous vaccinial lesions. "The concern is that the physician would overreact," Dr. Greenberg said. "These skin reactions are rather dramatic, and if we're going to be vaccinating against smallpox, the physician should know that these are benign complications and not subject the patient to unnecessary worry."

###

Founded in 1979, Clinical Infectious Diseases publishes clinical articles twice monthly in a variety of areas of infectious disease, and is one of the most highly regarded journals in this specialty. It is published under the auspices of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Based in Alexandria, Virginia, IDSA is a professional society representing more than 7,500 physicians and scientists who specialize in infectious diseases. For more information, visit http://www.idsociety.org.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Infectious Diseases Society Of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Infectious Diseases Society Of America. "Smallpox Vaccine May Cause Harmless Skin Rashes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 March 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/03/040318073437.htm>.
Infectious Diseases Society Of America. (2004, March 18). Smallpox Vaccine May Cause Harmless Skin Rashes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/03/040318073437.htm
Infectious Diseases Society Of America. "Smallpox Vaccine May Cause Harmless Skin Rashes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/03/040318073437.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) — The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins