By Sandra Rose  | 

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The FBI and Centers for Disease Control are investigating vials marked "Smallpox" that were found in a Merck lab outside Philadelphia.

Samples of smallpox aren't approved to be used in private experiments or research.

The 15 "questionable vials" were found inside a Merck facility freezer in a Pennsylvania vaccine research facility.

An alert was sent to the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday night, indicating that 5 of the vials were labeled "smallpox" and 10 as "vaccinia," reports Yahoo News.

Bill Gates, who is not a doctor, recently warned that the next pandemic will be smallpox.

In a statement to CNN, the CDC said: "There is no indication that anyone has been exposed to the small number of frozen vials."

Smallpox, a highly contagious and deadly virus, was eradicated from earth in 1980.

The smallpox virus infected 15 million people globally every year, killing about 30% of those infected.

By comparison, the Covid-19 virus kills less than 1% of those who are infected.