CDC Closes Two Labs After Anthrax, Flu Scares | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

CDC Closes Two Labs After Anthrax, Flu Scares

Citing an anthrax scare and other safety concerns, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has temporarily shut down two of its laboratories.

The announcement on Friday follows incidents in the past month that involved the possible exposure of dozens of lab workers to anthrax at facilities in Atlanta.

In the second such incident, NPR's Richard Harris reports that "In the course of trying to understand a laboratory accident involving anthrax, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stumbled upon another major blunder — involving a deadly flu virus."

The Associated Press reports:

"The CDC also released a report that detailed three other incidents in the past decade in which mistakes or other problems caused potentially dangerous germs to be sent out. No lab worker or member of the public was sickened in any of the incidents, the CDC said.

"The federal agency operates some of the world's most advanced and most secure laboratories for the handling of deadly germs, and has enjoyed a reputation as a role model for that kind of work. During a press conference Friday, CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said he was upset by the carelessness.

"'I'm just astonished that this could have happened here,' he said.

"Frieden said internal and outside panels will investigate both recent problems and review safety procedures for handling dangerous germs."

The Washington Post says:

"Federal government laboratories in Atlanta improperly sent potentially deadly pathogens, including anthrax, botulism bacteria and a virulent bird flu virus, to other laboratories in five separate incidents over the past decade, officials said Friday.

"The incidents, which raise troubling questions about the government's ability to safely store and transport dangerous microbes, prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to halt operations at its bioterrorism rapid-response lab and an influenza lab and impose a moratorium on any biological material leaving numerous other CDC labs."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Sept. 18

You can attend an annual Latin American film festival or see a new play about strength, war and family.

NPR

From Coffee To Chicory To Beer, 'Bitter' Flavor Can Be Addictive

If you don't think you like bitter foods, try them again. Jennifer McLagan, the author of Bitter: A Taste of the World's Most Dangerous Flavor, is on a mission to change hearts and minds.
NPR

Senate To Vote On Arming Rebels As Islamic State Seizes Villages

The Islamist rebels reportedly have captured 16 Kurdish villages in northern Syria in a major push for territory. The move has prompted fears of a massacre against civilians.
NPR

3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands

A proposal about how to maintain unfettered access to Internet content drew a bigger public response than any single issue in the Federal Communication Commission's history. What's next?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.