Smallpox (Variola virus)
Smallpox virus is highly infectious. Manipulation of specimen material should be avoided, but if necessary, use Biosafety Level 3 practices.
- If smallpox is suspected, notify your state public health laboratory immediately for evaluation and referral.
- Smallpox is a medical and public health emergency even when criminal activity is not suspected. Diagnosis is made by clinical findings and confirmed by advanced techniques in Level D facilities.
- Level A laboratories should not attempt to culture or perform any diagnostic assays on specimens suspected of containing smallpox virus.
- Responsibility of the Level A Laboratory is limited to advising medical staff on specimen selection and with packing, shipping and communication of specimens from suspected case.
- Specimen Collection and Transport Guidelines (pdf)
- Specimen Collection Chart (pdf)
- B-Safe Card (pdf)