RealNews

Doctors investigating infection linked to smallpox vaccine

Doctors in California are trying to determine how an adult’s eye became infected with the same virus used in the military’s smallpox vaccination program. The patient, who has not been identified, had been in close contact with someone who had been inoculated, health officials said. However, Dr. Jonathan Fielding, Los Angeles County’s director of public health, said it remained unclear exactly how the patient became infected. The vaccine is made with a live virus that can be spread by touching a vaccination site before it has healed or by touching bandages, clothing or other material contaminated with the live virus. “We really don’t know how it happened – it could have happened in a variety of ways,” Fielding said. “What’s important is they had direct contact with the person, rather than this being something that was just in the air.” Public health officials have declined to release the patient’s gender or age, but have said the patient’s condition was improving. It was the first known case in California linked to the national drive to vaccinate emergency health workers and military personnel. Full Story

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