Contact vaccinia from recently vaccinated British soldiers.

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Contact vaccinia from recently vaccinated British soldiers.

Publication Date
May 30, 1981
  • Medicine


Smallpox Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) Smallpox is a serious disease that can kill up to 3 out of 10 people who get it. Smallpox can also cause— �a severe rash, which can leave scars when healed. �high fever. �tiredness. �severe headaches and backache. �blindness. Smallpox is caused by a virus called "variola," which spreads from person to person. Usually, face-to-face contact lasting 3 or more hours is needed to spread smallpox from one person to another. Smallpox can also be spread through direct contact with infected body fluids or objects such as bedding or clothing that have smallpox virus on them. Smallpox killed millions of people over the centuries. Smallpox vaccination was developed in 1796.As a result, the last outbreak of smallpox in the United States was in 1949.The world's last case of naturally occurring smallpox was in 1977. Routine vaccination of the American public against smallpox ended in 1972. Smallpox vaccine is made from a living virus called "vaccinia." Vaccinia virus is like smallpox virus, but less harmful. The smallpox vaccine can NOT give you smallpox. The vaccine is not a shot like other vaccines.The needle is pricked into the skin a number of times in a few seconds (usually in the upper arm).The pricking is not deep, but will cause one or two small drops of blood to form.The place on the skin where the vaccine is given is called the "vaccination site." Getting the vaccine— �before exposure will protect most people from smallpox (the vaccine is about 95% effective). �up to 3 days after exposure can prevent the disease or at least make it less severe. �4-7 days after exposure can still make the disease less severe and decrease the chance of death. Smallpox vaccine protects people from getting smallpox for 3 to 5 years. Protection from severe illness and death can last 10 years or more. Smallpox vaccine protects people from smallpox. Some people should get the vaccine because they work with smallpox or related viruses in

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