CDC: Vials found in Pennsylvania lab did not contain smallpox as labeled

Western PA News

Lab testing on Thursday showed that recently discovered vials marked as “smallpox” have no evidence that the vials contain variola virus, the cause of smallpox.

The vials contain vaccinia, the virus used in smallpox vaccine. The CDC is in close contact with state and local health officials, law enforcement, and the World Health Organization about the findings, according to a media statement.

Federal health authorities on Wednesday confirmed the discovery of some frozen vials labeled “Smallpox” in a freezer at a facility in Pennsylvania that conducts vaccine research.

The facility was immediately secured and staff there followed the standard protocols for notifying the CDC of such a discovery.

The vials were sent securely to the Center for Disease Control for testing on November 18th to determine what they contained. No one was exposed to the contents of the vials, according to the statement.

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