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CDC reveals what was found in those newly discovered smallpox vials

The CDC said there was no trace of the virus that causes smallpox

SHARE CDC reveals what was found in those newly discovered smallpox vials
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention photo shows a cluster of smallpox viruses.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention photo shows a cluster of smallpox viruses.

Fred Murphy, CDC via Associated Press

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that the vials found in a facility last week with the label “smallpox” did not have any traces of virus inside, per The Hill.

  • “There is no evidence that the vials contain variola virus, the cause of smallpox,” the CDC said in a statement.
  • The CDC said it is “in close contact with state and local health officials, law enforcement, and the World Health Organization about these findings.”

Concerns arose when a lab worker at the Merck facility in Philadelphia allegedly discovered vials that were labeled “smallpox,” per WPVI-TV, a local news station in Philadelphia.

  • The CDC said at the time of the discovery that there was “no indication that anyone has been exposed to the small number of frozen vials.”
  • “The frozen vials labeled ‘smallpox’ were incidentally discovered by a laboratory worker while cleaning out a freezer in a facility that conducts vaccine research in Pennsylvania. CDC, its administration partners, and law enforcement are investigating the matter and the vials’ contents appear intact,” the CDC said, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

Smallpox is so deadly that only two labs in the world have samples of it, according to Yahoo News.

  • When smallpox was eliminated from the world, routine vaccination for the general public stopped because it was no longer needed. However, there are people who need long-term protection against the smallpox who need to receive boosters every three to five years, according to the CDC.