Frederic News Post
Originally published April 03, 2013
Exposures included monkeypox, anthrax agent
Potential incidents at Fort Detrick labs considered minimal risk, USAMRIID spokeswoman says
By Courtney Mabeus
Two of the potential biological exposures within labs at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in 2012 involved the monkeypox virus and Bacillus anthracis, which causes anthrax, spokeswoman Caree Vander Linden said.
No one became ill as a result of either incident, Vander Linden said in an email Tuesday. Both were considered "minimal risk of exposure, but personnel were monitored and thus reported as potential exposures," she wrote.
"Minimal risk is defined as an unlikely probability of exposure," Vander Linden said in the email. "Neither incident resulted in a laboratory-acquired infection or a release of agent outside of USAMRIID."
The incidents were two of eight potential exposures that originated in USAMRIID labs at Fort Detrick in 2012. The potential monkeypox and anthrax exposures occurred in Biosafety Level 3 labs, in which employees change into scrubs before working and use other protective equipment depending on the task at hand. Employees are also required to shower before leaving lab suites, according to the USAMRIID website. Employees are also rigorously trained.