Smallpox Vaccine

Source:  Smallpox Vaccine    Tag:  information about smallpox

Smallpox Vaccine in Children

The disease Smallpox is categorized as highly dangerous and harmful infectious virus that in occasions can provoke the death. The smallpox is also known as Variola virus. The prevention of contagious is the most effective treatment because it has no specific treatment except the vaccine. The name Variola comes from the Latin word for "spotted" referring to the raised bumps in the face and the body seen in the infected persons.

Two clinical forms of smallpox

Variola major is the most dangerous of the smallpox forms.

There four subtypes of this severe smallpox

  • Ordinary smallpox: it is the most common form (it occurs approximately in the ninety percent of cases) and provokes an extensive rash accompanying it with high periods of fever.
  • Moderated smallpox: it is mild and usually occurs in vaccinated persons
  • Flat smallpox and hemorrhagic smallpox: if they occur separated there are no fatal as when they are going together; when occurs the flat-hemorrhagic modality the consequences are usually fatal (a thirty percent of the infected patients die with this type of smallpox).

Variola minor is the less common representation of this infectious disease. Usually represents only the one percent of the smallpox cases in the world, and the consequences are much less severe than its counterpart the Variola major.

Where there is smallpox now?

Although the smallpox was eradicated from world human populations several years ago, the US government is preoccupied because this virus can be used by the bioterrorism against civilization and by this reason; there have been taken new precautions to prevent that occurs this scenario inside the USA or in other part of the world.

Symptoms of a smallpox infection

This disease can be divided in several infection periods:

  • The non-contagious incubation period: its duration is about seven to seventeen days. There are no symptoms during the incubation period.
  • Prodome or initial symptoms: there are symptoms like high fever, rash, malaise and vomiting. This period endures about two to five days.
  • Early rash period: This period is extremely contagious and it could be lasts about four days and is characterized by the budding of bumper spots starting first on the head and then spreading on the extremities (arms and legs).
  • The contagious scab period: After the formation of pustules there is a crusting and scabbing period, that can be as long as fifteen days.
  • Finally, the scabs are resolved, the scabs has fallen. This period is non-contagious.

The transmission and the children vaccination

The unique natural host of smallpox are the humans and it passes form one to the other person generally through an extended face-to-face contact or through bodily fluids or contaminated objects. The aerial transmission is not common with smallpox though there are cases that confirmed this. The only treatment is the prevention, but a vaccine would no be recommended to all persons by the only purpose of a general prevention campaign against a possible risk of infection.

Why is not recommended the smallpox vaccination in the childhood population?

There some points that support this recommendation:

  • There a great risk of dangerous side effects when the child is vaccinated including the possibility of allergic induced fatalities.
  • The vaccine is too expensive.
  • The actual risk of a bioterrorist act using the smallpox virus is too low.
  • Actually, the FDA has not approved any smallpox vaccine for the childhood population.
  • According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Dryvax vaccine used in adults had shown to be effective only in adults and there is no clinical trials that had test it with children, therefore, the efficacy of Dryvax in children never has been proved.
  • Children physiology's response is distinct from the adult response.

Summary: Smallpox is an eradicated virus that could be dangerous again with the terrorism and bioterrorism. Although there is several vaccines is not recommended to vaccine infants and children because its unknown results in them.