Smallpox, Anthrax, H5H1 Flu: Carelessness at U.S. Government Labs

posted by Maleekie Ambularie @ 13:22 PM
July 14, 2014

cdc-lab    It is as if the protective training wheels have fallen off the wagons of U.S. government labs assigned to keep this nation safe from infectious diseases.  Several mishaps have exposed lab workers and the public to serious illnesses.

Last week, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claim:  “a CDC lab accidentally contaminated a relatively benign flu sample with a dangerous H5N1 bird flu strain that has killed 386 people since 2003.  Fortunately, a United States Agriculture Department laboratory realized that the strain was more dangerous than expected and alerted the C.D.C.”

Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC Agency Director, was visibly upset by these multiple accidents:  First, because the CDC is known as “the reference laboratory to the world;” and Second, because each of these accidents could have “have killed both staff members and people outside.”

Donald G. McNeil of The New York Times explains:  “The anthrax episode took place on June 5 in the agency’s bioterrorism rapid response lab as part of testing a new mass spectrometry method.

“. . . . at least 62 C.D.C. employees may have been exposed to live anthrax bacteria after potentially infectious samples were sent to laboratories unequipped to handle them.” Affected employees were offered shots and antibiotics.

The Extinction Protocol adds:  “The CDC, which is already under fire for safety mishaps involving live anthrax, said samples of the highly infections H5H1 virus that were sent last March to the Department of Agriculture for research.”

But Frieden is livid because he didn’t learn about that incident until last week.  “I’m upset, I’m angry, I’ve lost sleep over it . . .”  He has ordered an immediate moratorium on transferring any biological samples between high-level labs until officials have reviewed all their safety protocols.

Dr. Frieden demands that all anthrax and flu labs remain closed until new procedures are imposed.  Ferdous Al-Faruque of thehill.com writes that Frieden ordered “appropriate actions” against any worker who knowingly violated safety rules and failed to report breaches.  Frieden also created a new position, Director of Laboratory Safety, to be filed by CDC official, Michael Bell.

But that’s not all:  “A 1975 image of smallpox. Two of six vials of smallpox stored at the National Institutes of A technician poses for the media with a test tube for testing against pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus in a laboratory at the Robert Koch scientific institute in BerlinHealth since 1954 contained live virus capable of infecting people . . .”  Frieden insists:  “All the samples will be destroyed as soon as the genomes of the virus in them can be sequenced. The N.I.H. will scour its freezers and storerooms for other dangerous material.”

In his article Henry Fountain reveals: “Until now, the only known samples of the virus were at high-security CDC labs in Atlanta and in Russia.”  He quotes Dr. William Schaffner, infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt: “. . . when smallpox was eradicated, every single research lab in the world was asked to scour their facilities and submit all specimens for accounting and destruction. The fact that these vials were found in a storeroom, seems curious beyond belief.”

Some journalist imply these ‘mistakes’ could be intentional, or from serious underfunding.  Both the House and Senate will hold hearings. One thing is for sure, Christians must pray about this.  As plus size Christian sweatshirts exclaim: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5: 16).”

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