Image

8:41 PM / Tuesday May 21, 2024

25 Nov 2021

CDC: Vials contain no trace of virus that causes smallpox

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
November 25, 2021 Category: Local Posted by:

ASSOCIATED PRESS 

PHILADELPHIA — Frozen vials labeled “Smallpox” that were discovered in a freezer at a vaccine research facility in Pennsylvania “contain no trace of virus known to cause smallpox,” federal health officials said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last Thursday that testing showed the vials contain “vaccinia, the virus used in smallpox vaccine” and not the variola virus, which causes smallpox.

The CDC had said last Monday that the vials “were incidentally discovered by a laboratory worker” who was wearing gloves and a face mask while cleaning out the freezer. The CDC said no one was exposed to the contents.

Mark O’Neill, a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of Health, told the New York Times that the vials were found at a Merck facility in Montgomery County.

It was not clear why the vials were in the freezer. The CDC said it was “in close contact with state and local health officials, law enforcement, and the World Health Organization” about the findings.

Smallpox is a deadly, infectious disease that plagued the world for centuries and killed nearly a third of the people it infected. Victims suffered scorching fever and body aches, and then spots and blisters that would leave survivors with pitted scars.

The United States ended routine childhood vaccination against the disease by the early 1970s and said the last natural outbreak in the country occurred in 1949. In 1980, the World Health Assembly declared smallpox eradicated.

There are two sites designated by the WHO where stocks of variola virus are stored and used for research: the CDC facility in Atlanta and a center in Russia.

Smallpox research in the United States focuses on the development of vaccines, drugs and diagnostic tests to protect people against smallpox in the event that it is used as an agent of bioterrorism, according to the CDC.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Sports

On The Brink of Elimination:

April 30, 2024

Tweet Email The Philadelphia 76ers are on the verge of yet another early playoff exit. ABOVE PHOTO:...

Philly NAACP

May 19, 2024

May 19, 2024

Tweet Email Tweet Email Related Posts Philadelphia Judicial Primary Candidates At A Glance Guide Philadelphia Judicial Candidates...

Health

This Mental Health Awareness Month, learn how to help prevent an overdose

May 19, 2024

Tweet Email BPT This month highlights the important role mental health plays in our general health and...

Election 2024

Pennsylvania sees fewer mail ballots rejected for technicalities, a priority for election officials

May 18, 2024

Tweet Email ABOVE PHOTO: Allegheny County Election Division Deputy Manager Chet Harhut explains the process of sorting...

Color Of Money

Savvy online shopping tips to save money and time

May 19, 2024

Tweet Email BPT — SPONSORED BY CITI The ease of shopping online can offer customers greater flexibility...

Seniors

Finding your strength while living with Thyroid Eye Disease (TED)

April 22, 2024

Tweet Email BPT LaQuilla Harris, a devoted mother, grandmother and retired property manager, led a healthy and...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff