By Dr. Joseph Mercola | LewRockwell
Earlier this month, we ran a report on the CDC anthrax blunder. As if that werent bad enough, there have been additional exposures since we posted that report. This time, it involved the shipment of live, highly contagious, and deadly H5N1 avian influenza samples.
As previously reported, as many as 841 scientists and staff members at a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) biolab were exposed to live anthrax in June. The live pathogen had been sent from a higher-security facility.
Biosafety protocols were apparently not followed at either of the facilities. The anthrax sample was supposed to have been inactivated prior to transfer, but due to multiple protocol breaches, it was still live upon arrival.
In addition to failing to properly inactivate the pathogen, samples were also found to have been transferred in Ziploc bags, and stored in unlocked storage refrigerators in an area where unauthorized personnel were free to wander by.
The director of the CDCs Bioterror Rapid Response and Advanced Technology Laboratory, Michael Farrell, was reassigned,2 from his posts, voluntarily resigned on July 22.3, 4 Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, head of the CDC, has now issued a report5that admits to sloppy work ethics at the lab.
The Old Adage Holds True: If You Fail to Plan, Youre Planning to Fail
According to the CDCs internal investigation, senior staff members at the receiving facility had not created a written plan for the researchers to follow when studying the deadly pathogen.
Scientists also did not review existing literature before beginning their work. What few instructions were obtained were given over the phone, and poor communication led to some of the errors. As noted by Rutgers University chemistry professor Richard H. Ebright:6
It is ironic that the institution that sets US standards for safety and security of work with human pathogens fails to meet its own standards. It is clear that the CDC cannot be relied upon to police its own select-agent labs.
The report also admits to two additional anthrax incidents, both of which occurred in 2006. Neither of these incidents had previously been disclosed to the public. In both instances, the CDC accidentally shipped live anthrax to two different labs.
A third erroneous shipment involved live botulism bacteria. It seems we can all count ourselves lucky that the CDC hasnt killed large numbers of people yet through all these sloppy mistakes!
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