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Inadvertent Inoculation: General

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The florid vaccination site contains high titers of vaccinia virus. Transfer of this virus from the primary site to other parts of the body, or to other individuals is a constant threat. Inadvertent inoculation varies from single lesions to massive involvement of disruptive skin disorders (e.g. eczema). 

The degree of skin involvement appears to parallel the risk and severity of inadvertent inoculation. Slight lesions, such as superficial wounds, burns and those seen in skin diseases may pose less of a risk than massively involved skin areas. Nevertheless, any disrupted skin can lead to implantation, although the consequences may be less for minor lesions.

Adequate screening of vaccinees and contact information may assist in preventing such transmission. Covering the lesion and instruction to the vaccinees as to the potential for transmission may also assist in lowering the risk.

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