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August 1960

Disseminated Vaccinia in Pregnancy: Report of a Case

Author Affiliations

New Haven, Conn.

Section of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine.

Arch Dermatol. 1960;82(2):257-258. doi:10.1001/archderm.1960.01580020099018

Disseminated vaccinia may occur in patients with atopic dermatitis who are vaccinated against smallpox or exposed to recently vaccinated individuals. The clinical picture may be indistinguishable from that produced by herpes simplex in a patient with eczema. The two viral infections can be differentiated by history of exposure, isolation of the virus, and serological studies.1,2

We examined a 23-year-old patient with active atopic dermatitis who was pregnant and at term. Following exposure to two of her children who recently had been vaccinated, the patient developed disseminated vaccinia which reached its peak at the time of her delivery. Her baby was not affected.

Report of Case 

Present Illness.—  The patient, a 23-year-old pregnant Negro mother of three children, was seen on an emergency basis in the dermatology clinic at the Yale New Haven Medical Center on May 20, 1959. The patient felt very ill and complained of severe burning and