Myths and Facts About Smallpox

Some myths and facts about smallpox:

Myth: Smallpox can be cured.

Fact: There is no proven treatment, though newer antiviral drugs would probably be tried in the event of an outbreak.

Myth: Smallpox still occurs naturally.

Fact: The last case was in 1977.

Myth: Not enough smallpox vaccine exists for everyone.

Fact: The government believes it has plenty.

Myth: The vaccine is often deadly.

Fact: Probably fewer than three per million would die from the shots.

Myth: Childhood smallpox vaccinations would protect against a new attack.

Fact: Protection probably wears off within 20 years.

Myth: Vaccination won't work if given after exposure to the virus.

Fact: People are protected if vaccinated within two or three days.