And again, what could possibly go wrong?
– CDC closes 2 labs following safety breaches (Miami Herald, July 11, 2014):
WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has closed two laboratories in Atlanta and stopped sending out infectious agents and other biological materials from its highest-level bio-security labs due to recent safety and security lapses.
The lapses include the accidental exposure of CDC lab personnel to anthrax and the previously unreported shipment of a deadly strain of bird flu to another government lab. No one has been found to have been infected.
– Inquiry into US government labs finds flu virus cross-contamination (Guardian, July 11, 2014):
Two labs shut down as CDC reveals findings of inquiry prompted by anthrax exposure and discovery of insecure smallpox vials
Senior US science officials have shut down two government laboratories that were the subject of “serious and troubling” safety lapses, and suspended some transfers of potentially dangerous germs.
Dr Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control, revealed on Friday that in addition to the exposure of anthrax and the discovery of insecure smallpox vials, which had already been disclosed, inquiries had discovered the cross-contamination of flu viruses.
Frieden said the discoveries raised “serious and troubling questions” in announcing the new safety measures on Friday. “Fundamentally, what they revealed was totally unacceptable behavior,” said Frieden. “These events should never have happened.” Continue reading »