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Smallpox Home

September 23, 2002
Contact: CDC Media Relations

Press Release

Smallpox Response Plan and Guidelines

The Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today released to state and local public health bioterrorism response planners, state health officials, and others an updated version of the post-event Smallpox Response Plan and Guidelines.* This is the third revision to these guidelines since they were released in November 2001. This document does not represent the smallpox pre-event plan and guidelines that will identify which designated groups in the states will be receiving smallpox vaccine prior to such an event.

The purpose of these guidelines is to provide states with important information they can use to effectively and rapidly respond to a smallpox outbreak. The document incorporates many of the comments and suggestions CDC received from state epidemiologists, bioterrorism coordinators, immunization program managers, and other healthcare officials.

"These guidelines are a part of an on-going process at CDC to help states prepare for a smallpox event," said Dr. Julie Gerberding, CDC director. "This is a valuable resource for state and local planners as they develop their respective bioterrorism response plans."

The Smallpox Response Plan and Guidelines is a working document that will continue to be updated over the next few months. Future updates will include infection control, isolation recommendations, outbreak response initiatives, and other related strategies.

The plan can be accessed online at

* The plan was originally released on November 21, 2001, and was previously updated on January 23, 2002.


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This page last updated September 23, 2002

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