Frozen vials with “smallpox” labels discovered at a Pennsylvania lab include the virus used within the vaccine for the virus and never the virus that causes the illness, public well being officers stated Thursday.
The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention stated in a press release that laboratory testing confirmed that the vials contained vaccinia, which is analogous to the smallpox virus and was used to inoculate in opposition to the eradicated illness.
They didn’t include the variola virus, which causes smallpox, the company stated.
Nobody was uncovered to the contents of the vials, and the company stated it notified native and state well being officers, in addition to the World Well being Group, in regards to the lab outcomes.
A lab employee reportedly discovered the vials in a freezer at a Merck facility in Montgomery County, northwest of Philadelphia.
The lethal illness was eradicated within the Seventies, however vaccines are stored in case of an outbreak. Solely two amenities on this planet are speculated to have vials of the smallpox virus — the CDC’s headquarters in Atlanta and a lab in Russia.