Remaining Questions about Clinical Variola Major
Published Date:Apr 2011
Source:Emerg Infect Dis. 17(4):676-680.
Bioterrorism And Preparedness
Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation
Description:After the recent summary of World Health Organization-authorized research on smallpox, several clinical issues remain. This policy review addresses whether early hemorrhagic smallpox is disseminated intravascular coagulation and speculates about the cause of the high mortality rate among pregnant women and whether ocular smallpox is partly the result of trachoma or vitamin A deficiency. The joint destruction common in children with smallpox might be prevented by antiviral drugs, but intraarticular infusion of antiviral drugs is unprecedented. Development of highly effective antiviral drugs against smallpox raises the issue of whether postexposure vaccination can be performed without interference by an antiviral drug. Clinicians should consider whether patients with smallpox should be admitted to general hospitals. Although an adequate supply of second-generation smallpox vaccine exists in the United States, its use is unclear. Finally, political and ethical forces suggest that destruction of the remaining stocks of live smallpox virus is now appropriate.
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