Update: Not Smallpox, those vials had Vaccinia

They found that the vials actually contain "vaccinia, the virus used in smallpox vaccine," rather than the variola virus that can cause people to contract the historically deadly and infectious illness, the Associated Press reported.

"The freezer facility was immediately secured and staff followed standard protocols for notifying CDC of such a potential discovery. The vials were sent securely to CDC for testing on November 18 to determine what they contained," the CDC said in a statement.

Upon investigation, health officials were able to determine that the vials "contain no trace of virus known to cause smallpox." The vaccinia virus that was detected inside the vials is used to produce smallpox vaccine and is the origin of the word "vaccine," CNN reported.

Our Current Sponsors