Thursday, March 17, 2011

Gym associated vaccinia infection

Last week Eli blogged about a study where investigators tried to find MRSA in a gym and couldn't. Now there's a new paper in Emerging Infectious Diseases detailing a vaccinia outbreak (4 cases) associated with a gym  in Maryland. The source of the outbreak was never determined but some members of the gym were in the military. Fortunately, none of the infected had severe complications. But it begs the question: why should anyone be vaccinated with a live virus for a disease that has been eradicated?

5 comments:

  1. This took place in Maryland at the time Eli was there. Eli, did you get vaccinated when you became the hospital epidemiologist at Maryland, so that you could lead their smallpox response team? I know you probably went to this martial arts gym, because someone told me that you were a black belt (I can't recall, though, if your black belt is in karate, judo, or six sigma....).

    ReplyDelete
  2. This all strikes me as a major HIPAA violation. ;) Actually, I was vaccinated in 1972 prior to a trip to Yugoslavia. You can read more about that outbreak here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1972_outbreak_of_smallpox_in_Yugoslavia

    ReplyDelete
  3. Would those 4 individuals with secondary vaccinia cases now be immune to smallpox?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes. Development of the vaccinia skin lesion is a sign of effective vaccination.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well, at least some good came from a not-so-pleasant experience. Hopefully they will never need the immunity!

    ReplyDelete