Skip to content

Sighs of relief after vials of smallpox found

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/9/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Disease was scourge of humanity for centuries

There were sighs of relief when someone made a discovery in a disused closet. Many thanked the Lord that it didn't fall into the wrong hands. An employee at the National Institutes of Health found vials of smallpox, the onetime scourge of humanity, in a storage room.

The FBI is investigating how the samples ended up where they did.

The FBI is investigating how the samples ended up where they did.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
7/9/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Smallpox, Centers for Disease Control, variola


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Labelled as variola, smallpox has been considered an eradicated disease ever since 1980. The last known outbreak in the U.S. was in 1947 in New York. The disease has dropped off the map after successful worldwide vaccination programs.

Authorities say that the vials appear to date back to the 1950s. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a statement on the discovery earlier this week.

See how you can join the fight against world hunger -- by going here --

The vials were found when scientists prepared to move a lab from the Food and Drug Administration's Bethesda, Maryland, campus to a different location. The laboratory had been used by the NIH but had been transferred to the FDA in 1972. The vials were located in an unused part of a storeroom.

Once discovered, scientists immediately put them in a containment lab. The branch of the government that deals with toxic substances called the Division of Select Agents and Toxins on the first of this month.

The CDC says there is no evidence that any of the vials was breached, nor were any of the lab workers exposed to the virus.

Law enforcement agencies transferred the vials to the CDC's high-containment facility in Atlanta earlier this week. Testing confirmed that there was variola virus DNA in the vials. Scientists will do some more testing to see if it could grow in tissue culture. Once the tests are done, the CDC will destroy the samples.

The initial or prodromal symptoms of smallpox are similar to other viral diseases such as influenza and the common cold: fever of at least 38.5 °C (101 °F), muscle pain, malaise, headache and prostration. As the digestive tract is commonly involved, nausea and vomiting and backache often occur. The prodrome, or pre-eruptive stage, usually lasts two to four days. By days 12-15 the first visible lesions-small reddish spots called enanthem-appear on mucous membranes of the mouth, tongue, palate, and throat, and temperature falls to near normal. These lesions rapidly enlarge and rupture, releasing large amounts of virus into the saliva.

The CDC is one of only two official World Health Organization designated repositories for smallpox; the other is in Novosibirsk, Russia. The CDC let the WHO know about the find and invited the WHO to witness the destruction of the vials, which is the standard protocol any time anyone finds smallpox samples unexpectedly.

The FBI is investigating how the samples ended up where they did.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for FEBRUARY 2017
Comfort for the Afflicted.
That all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees, and marginalized, may find welcome and comfort in our communities.


Comments


More Health

31-year-old man regains life after 'miraculous' face transplant Watch

Image of

After ten years, a 60-person medical team, and a 56-hour surgery, 31-year-old Andy Sandness received the first steps into truly getting his ... continue reading


Day of the Sick at Lourdes: 'God Doesn't Ask Us to Be Super-Heroes'

Image of

"God doesn't ask us to be super-heroes," assured Cardinal Pietro Parolin, on February 11, 2017,  the 25th World Day of the Sick. ... continue reading


Pope Francis speaks of 'light and shadow' in healthcare sector Watch

Image of

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Friday spoke about the situations of "light and shadow" in the healthcare sector, thanking God for ... continue reading


Why was this medieval leper buried with this holy artifact? Watch

Image of The grave of Sk27 has one notable artifact, a scallop shell which told researchers he was a religious pilgrim.

Researchers have uncovered the grave of an unusual leprosy patient from medieval England. His bones tell a story that could help rewrite ... continue reading


Ask DMU: 5 Factors for Solid Therapy Watch

Image of

As we approach both Christmas and the New Year, many of us like to take stock of the past year and to make concrete plans for the next. ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.