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  • tla_usa tla_usa Jun 19, 2014 10:10 PM Flag

    U.S. says government lab workers possibly exposed to anthrax

    Excerpts via Reuters today
    As many as 75 scientists and staff in U.S. government laboratories in Atlanta may have been exposed to live anthrax bacteria after researchers failed to follow safety procedures, prompting an investigation by federal authorities.

    The safety breach in the nation's premier bioterror lab raises new doubts about security measures at the CDC, whose infection control protocols are held up as a model to the world.

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    • Regarding the recent anthrax safety breach (about which I posted recently) Reuters remarked:

      "The safety breach in the nation's premier bioterror lab raises new doubts about security measures at the CDC, whose infection control protocols are held up as a model to the world."

      Today news sources again are reporting a safety breach.This time to do with with smallpox. Fortunately, the folks that found the vials of smallpox did not unknowingly get infected A recent study that I reported here (which was declassified in part) showed that an infection of as few as five people is more likely than not to spread over the globe and become a global emergency. So the good news is that we did not have a global-wide infection spread that could have resulted in millions of deaths.

      The news today about the smallpox strikes me as analogous to some fireman finding an armed nuclear bomb in some old abandoned building in New York City. It has been pointed out by weapon's experts that the damage potential of a smallpox release in a city would produce as much economic damage as a nuclear bomb going off.

      Regarding todays story on smallpoxt, here is what CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said: “At the end of the day, we don’t know why [the vials] showed up,”

      The FBI is investigating. Someone had to have violated some safety protocol.

      There are thousands of labs in the world. Are there other vials with smallpox? Could they trigger an accidental and initially undetected smallpox release?

      Because there are no failure-proof lab safety systems, and the harm potential so great we must do what we can to mitigate potential failures. What can we do?

      I believe that we are these (and other) lab safety breaches are conclusive evidence for the need to permanently stockpile smallpox vaccine and antivirals to deal with human fallibility.

      Also these breaches suggest a conceivable means by which terror or criminal groups could come into unexpected possession of a smallpox

      • 2 Replies to tla_usa
      • Yet another lab safety breach. This time neither anthrax nor smallpox. This time the dangerous avian flu.

        From the Hil today:

        "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday said it has closed two laboratories and halted some shipments of dangerous disease samples after discovering new safety breaches, including one that involved the dangerous avian flu."

        "The new safety lapse with bird flu — a virus that scientists have long feared could create a deadly pandemic — is another embarrassing misstep for the CDC and federal health officials."

        “I’m upset, I’m angry, I’ve lost sleep over it,” Frieden the CDC chief said.

      • A hundred years ago when I owned alot of SIGA ,,,..The small pox virus was located in only
        two cities in the world.....ATLANTA AND MOSCOW
        We always worried about Russia misplaciing some ....Who da thunk it !!

    • What does this have to do with siga? Unless of course you are hoping for same thing with smallpox?

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