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.”
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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.