An employee accidentally finds vials marked “smallpox” in an American laboratory.



An employee of a medical laboratory found several vials marked with the inscription ‘smallpox’ during work on the building, CNN reported on Wednesday with reference to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, for its acronym in English).

“The frozen vials labeled ‘smallpox’ were discovered by chance by a lab worker while cleaning a freezer at a facility conducting vaccine research in Pennsylvania,” the CDC email quoted.

“There is no indication that anyone was exposed to the small amount of frozen vials,” said the organization, indicating that “the contents of the vials appear intact” and that the employee was wearing gloves and a mask at the time. In addition, he noted that the case is already under investigation by the authorities.

Smallpox is a very dangerous virus, with a death rate of around 30%. In 1980, the World Health Organization announced its complete eradication. The last natural case was recorded in 1977 in Somalia. The fact, described by the WHO as “one of the most remarkable and profound public health successes in history”, made possible by a vast global vaccination campaign.

However, specimens of the pathogen are still kept in biological laboratories for scientific purposes. The CDC considers that while there is no “immediate” threat, they can be used by terrorists, which is why they have developed a protocol to deal with possible leaks of the virus.

Disclaimer: This article is generated from the feed and not edited by our team.


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