WASHINGTON – The same federal scientist who uncovered forgotten vials of smallpox earlier this month also found over 300 undocumented vials at the same lab, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
FDA officials say the vials list the names of other contagious viruses and bacteria, including dengue, influenza and rickettsia. Previously the government only announced it had recovered six glass vials of smallpox dating from the 1950s.
The freeze-dried smallpox samples were found in a building at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, that has been used by the Food and Drug Administration since 1972.
The find was disturbing because for decades after smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980, world health authorities said the only known samples left were safely stored in super-secure laboratories in Atlanta and in Russia.