A two-pronged needle, a glass vial of smallpox vaccine, and a syringe sit on a blue surface.
Smallpox Vaccine Recruits Skin Bacteria to Fight Disease
A mouse study points to a possible mechanism by which the smallpox vaccine helped eradicate the disease in the 1980s.
ABOVE: JAMES GATHANY / US CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
Smallpox Vaccine Recruits Skin Bacteria to Fight Disease
Smallpox Vaccine Recruits Skin Bacteria to Fight Disease

A mouse study points to a possible mechanism by which the smallpox vaccine helped eradicate the disease in the 1980s.

A mouse study points to a possible mechanism by which the smallpox vaccine helped eradicate the disease in the 1980s.

ABOVE: JAMES GATHANY / US CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION

smallpox

In one of the only known photos of Abraham Lincoln taken on the day of the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln can be seen seated, hatless, just below and to the right of the flag. Lincoln began developing symptoms of smallpox on the train home to Washington, DC.
Presidential Pox, 1863
Annie Melchor | Dec 1, 2021
Researchers continue to debate whether US President Abraham Lincoln was coming down with smallpox as he delivered his famous Gettysburg Address, and if he had been immunized.
black and white electron microscope image showing oval-shaped mature monkeypox virions as well as rounder immature ones
Texas Monkeypox Case Underscores Need for Better Surveillance
Christie Wilcox | Jul 30, 2021
A patient caught the rare disease in Nigeria before flying through two US airports, exposing more than 200 people from 27 states.
Introducing Inoculation, 1721
Max Kozlov | Jan 1, 2021
As a deadly smallpox outbreak ravaged Boston, one of the city’s leaders advocated for a preventive measure he’d learned about from Onesimus, an enslaved man.
Epidemiologist Who Helped Eradicate Smallpox Dies
Jef Akst | Oct 28, 2020
J. Michael Lane was the director of the CDC’s successful program to eradicate smallpox.
animal vaccinations being given at the Imperial Academy of Medicine in Paris
Bovine Inoculations, circa 1870s
Christopher DeCou | Jun 1, 2019
Lymph from cattle proved more effective at inducing immunity to smallpox than the older, person-to-person method.
Smallpox Kerfuffle Reveals Biosecurity Problems
Kerry Grens | Jul 12, 2017
A review of a 2014 incident in which mystery vials of smallpox were found at the NIH reveals security weaknesses, but also concludes the response was appropriate. 
CDC Lab Resumes After Safety Lapses
Kerry Grens | Jul 25, 2014
A high-security tuberculosis lab at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may return to transferring hazardous materials.
CDC Halts Hazardous Biomaterial Transfers
Tracy Vence | Jul 11, 2014
Following recent high-profile safety lapses in government labs, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has placed a moratorium on movement of biological materials from BSL-3 and BSL-4 facilities.
Smallpox Vials Found in FDA Storage
Kerry Grens | Jul 8, 2014
Employees packing up an old storage unit run by the US Food and Drug Administration uncovered 16 forgotten vials of smallpox.
Researchers: Don’t Destroy Smallpox Virus Yet
Bob Grant | May 2, 2014
Scientists urge the World Health Organization to delay destroying the last remaining laboratory stocks of live variola virus because there’s more research to be done.
Pox Vaccine Treats Liver Cancer
Cristina Luiggi | Nov 11, 2011
A genetically engineered smallpox vaccine improved the survival of liver cancer patients participating in a phase II clinical trial.
A Scar Nobly Got
Michael Willrich | Jul 1, 2011
The story of the US government’s efforts to stamp out smallpox in the early 20th century offers insights into the science and practice of mass vaccination.
Book excerpt from Pox: An American History
Michael Willrich | Jun 30, 2011
In Chapter 5, "The Stable and the Laboratory," author Michael Willrich explores the burgeoning vaccine manufacture industry that ramped up to combat smallpox epidemics in turn-of-the-twentieth-century American cities.
WHO punts on smallpox
Bob Grant | May 26, 2011
The World Health Organization is remaining mum on the issue of maintaining laboratory stocks of the smallpox virus, which the US government wants to preserve for the next five years.