Looking for a way to help your country battle bio-terrorism? The University of Iowa is looking for volunteers on whom to conduct a study of smallpox, a follow-up study to one conducted this summer in Iowa City on that potential-killer virus. Dr. Patricia Winokur, a U-of-I professor of internal medicine, is leading the study — and the search for 150 volunteers.The U-of-I is looking for people between the ages of 18 and 32 who are in good health, who have no history of major skin diseases, and who have no close contact with babies or people who are immuno-compromised. Dr. Winokur says all volunteers will be compensated for their time, though they may encounter some “challenges” as a result of being vaccinated.Volunteers may also have other symptoms including fever and a sore arm, but those who develop the pock will be protected from small pox should they encounter it in the future. She says the volunteers may develop pock lesions on their arms where they get the vaccine. Current estimates are that 120-million Americans are susceptible to smallpox, and given the 30 percent mortality rate found with smallpox, she says the effect of a terrorist attack could be profound. The U-of-I is among only three institutions nationwide taking part in the study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. Winokur says the small pox virus is -not- being used for the study, but a related virus. For more information, call 319-384-6194.
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