US Airman Developed Inflamed Heart After Smallpox Vaccine

By Jeffry John Aufderheide

In 2003, an airman proceeded to go to the emergency room at South Georgia Medical Center eight days following the administration of a smallpox vaccine. He was complaining of chest discomfort and shortness of breath.

On assessment, Saurina and colleagues documented pea-size lymph nodes in the left neck and underarm. The airman also experienced pain around the left pectoral region. It was observed that previously described areas were in close proximity to the vaccination site.

It was determined the airman developed myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart, as a consequence of the smallpox vaccination.

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