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Smallpox Vaccinations May Be Risky

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WASHINGTON, Feb 02, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- New studies show people vaccinated against smallpox pose a low risk of infecting others if they follow proper bandaging and hand-washing procedures.

Some worry about passing smallpox along to others because a live virus is used in the vaccination, which leaves an open wound in the arm, Science Daily reported Monday.

As a result, some hospitals decided health care workers should not be vaccinated, in order to prevent accidental transmission of the virus to patients.

However, new studies say the risk is greatly reduced if those vaccinated keep the area properly bandaged and practice good hand washing techniques.

It was unknown whether the new findings will influence hospitals to change policy, Science Daily said.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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