Bioterrorism Response Planning

Information for Public Health Departments and Healthcare Facilities

Although smallpox no longer occurs naturally, the threat of smallpox remains. There are concerns that variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox, may exist outside of the two World Health Organization (WHO)-designated collaborating centers in the United States and Russia. The risk for an intentional or accidental release of the smallpox virus is believed to be low, but the effects of such an event could be devastating. These potential consequences make planning for a smallpox emergency critical.