News / USA

Safety Concerns Prompt US to Close Labs, Suspend Shipping of Biological Materials

Jessica Berman

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is shutting down two labs that handle highly infectious pathogens and imposing an immediate moratorium on shipments of all biological materials from high-level security laboratories until safety problems are addressed.

The actions follow several troubling lapses in laboratory safety.  

Last month, more than 80 CDC scientists at three labs were potentially exposed to live anthrax. Then, this week, it was announced that six, long-forgotten vials of live smallpox virus were found in a storeroom at a US Food and Drug Administration laboratory. Finally, CDC officials announced the discovery this week that a CDC laboratory accidentally contaminated low-risk bird flu samples with a highly pathogenic strain of the H5N1 avian flu and shipped it to a government lab.

CDC Director Tom Frieden said he will appoint a new director of laboratory safety.  Any workers who knowingly violate procedures or fail to report breaches will be disciplined.

Frieden released a report  Friday reviewing the unintentional mishandling of anthrax.  The report concludes it was extremely unlikely - but not impossible - that staff members at the CDC’s laboratories were exposed to the lethal bacterium.

However, Frieden stresses that no one, either in the public or laboratories, was sickened in the incidents.  But he said he was “astonished” that such lapses could have happened in the U.S., which is entrusted with running laboratories that handle some of the deadliest biologic agents in the world. 

You May Like

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: wg
July 11, 2014 5:23 PM
YouTube has many videos about the new world order and plans to wipe out large portions of the population with viruses.

In Response

by: Anonymous
July 13, 2014 4:26 PM
The point exactly, "..we can't even seen to remember where we put vials of stuff. "

You don't think the new world order has anything to do with these 'Misplaced' vials?

In Response

by: capn obvious from: barrah kenny jawjuh
July 12, 2014 12:24 AM
Do you think we're competent enough to do that because we can't even seen to remember where we put vials of stuff.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid