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Sep 07

Pathogens that are Deadly Found in U.S Laboratories

The National Institutes of Health or the NIH, have found pathogens that are deadly in different laboratories of the U.S government.

The NIH reported the finding of a container with ricin, that was apparently, 100 years old. Samples of pathogens that seem to have been forgotten were also found. The NIH agency is searching for hazardous materials that have been improperly stored. Earlier in July, vials of smallpox where found. The vials were from the 1950’s.

Searches in different facilities showed that more “selected” agents or pathogens where not properly stored, nor registered. The containers, however, where found sealed and intact, free or tampering. There are no indications that the pathogens found are a threat to anyone, since they were sealed. The NIH proceeded to destroyed them.

 

Some of the pathogens found can cause plague, botulism, tularemia and a rare but lethal tropical infection that is known as melioidosis.

Dr. Alfred Johnson, who works directs the safety and security department, said that the NIH is allowed to use pathogens and that they are properly stored and inventoried.

The Food and Drug Administration made another finding on Friday. Staphycoloccus enterotoxin, which causes food poisoning. The vials containing this pathogen were found in a freezer that was locked. The problem is that the lab where the vials were found, was not cleared to handle this pathogen. The vials where relocated to a lab that is allowed to handle the toxins and the vials where later destroyed.

Pathogens need to be handled carefully and kept safe by those who use them. Improper use or improper storage can cause and outbreak and cause major health problems in the population. There needs to be more oversight in laboratories handling this. New safety protocols need to be implemented soon.

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