- Accidental release or deliberate release? You decide!
- Was Ebola Accidentally Released from a Bioweapons Lab In West Africa?
Accidents at Germ Labs Have Occurred Worldwide
Nations such as Russia, South Africa and the U.S. have long conducted research into how to make deadly germs even more deadly. And accidents at these research facilities have caused germs to escape, killing people and animals near the facilities.
For example, the Soviet research facility at Sverdlovsk conducted anthrax research during the Cold War. They isolated the most potent strain of anthrax culture and then dried it to produce a fine powder for use as an aerosol. In 1979, an accident at the facility released anthrax, killing 100.
The U.S. has had its share of accidents. USA Today noted in August:
More than 1,100 laboratory incidents involving bacteria, viruses and toxins that pose significant or bioterror risks to people and agriculture were reported to federal regulators during 2008 through 2012, government reports obtained by USA TODAY show.
In two other incidents, animals were inadvertently infected with contagious diseases that would have posed significant threats to livestock industries if they had spread. One case involved the infection of two animals with hog cholera, a dangerous virus eradicated from the USA in 1978. In another incident, a cow in a disease-free herd next to a research facility studying the bacteria that cause brucellosis, became infected ….
The issue of lab safety and security has come under increased scrutiny by Congress in recent weeks after a series of high-profile lab blunders at prestigious government labs involving anthrax, bird flu and smallpox virus.
The new lab incident data indicate mishaps occur regularly at the more than 1,000 labs operated by 324 government, university and private organizations across the country ….
“More than 200 incidents of loss or release of bioweapons agents from U.S. laboratories are reported each year. This works out to more than four per week,” said Richard Ebright, a biosafety expert at Rutgers university in New Jersey, who testified before Congress last month at a hearing about CDC’s lab mistakes.