EID Journal Home > Volume 17, Number 4–April 2011
Volume 17, Number 4–April 2011
Secondary and Tertiary Transmission of Vaccinia Virus from US Military Service Member
Gregory E. Young, Christina M. Hidalgo, Ann Sullivan-Frohm, Cynthia Schulte, Stephen Davis, Cassandra Kelly-Cirino, Christina Egan, Kimberly Wilkins, Ginny L. Emerson, Kimberly Noyes, and Debra Blog
Author affiliations: New York State Department of Health, Buffalo, New York, USA (G.E. Young, C.M. Hidalgo, A. Sullivan-Frohm); New York State Department of Health, Albany, New York, USA (C. Schulte, S. Davis, C. Kelly-Cirino, C. Egan, K. Noyes, D. Blog); and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (K. Wilkins, G.L. Emerson
Suggested citation for this article
During February and March 2010, the New York State Department of Health investigated secondary and tertiary vaccinia contact transmission from a military vaccinee to 4 close contacts. Identification of these cases underscores the need for strict adherence to postvaccination infection control guidance to avoid transmission of the live virus.
Vaccinia virus (VACV) is the live viral component of smallpox vaccine. Exposure to the vaccination site can result in contact transmission or inadvertent autoinoculation, which often is self-limited (1,2). However, severe complications can occur, especially in persons with underlying risk factors (e.g., immunodeficiencies, atopic dermatitis, or pregnancy) (1). During December 2002–May 2009, the reported rate of contact transmission for US military personnel was 5 cases per 100,000 persons; intimate and sports-related contact were the most commonly cited risks (3).
On March 11, 2010, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) was notified of a suspected case of vaccinia in a person who had been exposed to a military service member recently vaccinated against smallpox. NYSDOH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted an investigation to identify the source of infection and potential contacts. One additional case of contact transmission from the primary vaccinee and 2 cases of tertiary transmission were confirmed. This investigation underscores the need for strict adherence to postvaccination infection control guidance to avoid transmission of the live virus.
Transmission of Vaccinia Virus | CDC EID
Suggested Citation for this Article
Young G, Hidalgo C, Sullivan-Frohm A, Schulte C, Davis S, Kelly-Cirino C, et al. Secondary and tertiary transmission of vaccinia virus from US service member. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2011 Apr [date cited].
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Gregory E. Young, New York State Department of Health—Western Region, 584 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14202, USA; email: firstname.lastname@example.org