Smallpox is an acute, communicable disease caused by the variola virus, a virus related to monkeypox. Smallpox outbreaks have occurred from time to time for thousands of years, but in 1980 the disease was declared eradicated following worldwide vaccination programs. Except for stockpiles in high-security laboratories, the virus has been eliminated. However, if obtained and deliberately released as a bioweapon, smallpox could cause a public health catastrophe.


There are currently no specific OSHA standards for smallpox.

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Smallpox Disease

Provides references that aid in recognizing disease characteristics and hazards associated with smallpox.

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Smallpox as a Bioweapon

Provides information on the use of smallpox as a bioweapon and associated issues to be considered during a smallpox outbreak.

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Provides additional guidance specific to various types of workers, and associated issues on recognizing and controlling exposure to smallpox.

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Additional Resources

Provides links and references to additional resources related to small pox.

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