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CDC Testing Shows Commercial Lab Vials Contain No Trace of Virus Known to Cause Smallpox

The U.S. Government was notified of the report of a small number of intact, frozen vials labeled “smallpox” discovered by a laboratory worker.

Laboratory testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed Friday that recently discovered vials marked as “smallpox” contain vaccinia, the virus used in smallpox vaccine. There is no evidence that the vials contain variola virus, the cause of smallpox. CDC is in close contact with state and local health officials, law enforcement, and the World Health Organization about these findings.

On November 15, 2021, the U.S. Government was notified of the report of a small number of intact, frozen vials labeled “smallpox” discovered by a laboratory worker while cleaning out a freezer in a facility that conducts vaccine research in Pennsylvania.

The freezer facility was immediately secured and staff followed standard protocols for notifying CDC of such a potential discovery. The vials were sent securely to CDC for testing on November 18 to determine what they contained. No one was exposed to contents of the vials.

Read more at CDC

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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