Tags: vial | biterror | agent | missing | lab

Report: Vial of Potential Bioterror Agent Missing From Texas Lab

Monday, 25 Mar 2013 10:55 PM

By Todd Beamon

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
A vial of a potential bioterror agent is missing from a maximum-security research lab in Texas report, but officials say that the virus most likely has been destroyed and poses no threat.

The incident was voluntarily disclosed on Monday by the Galveston National Laboratory, USA Today reports.

Scott Weaver, the Galveston lab's scientific director, said that a routine check of the lab last week led to the discovery that one of five small plastic vials of an obscure virus called Guanarito was missing from a locked freezer, USA Today reports.

But checks of the lab’s security systems showed no malfunctions and no unusual entries to the lab or the freezer since November, when a previous inventory recorded the vial, USA Today reports.

Galveston and other labs experiment with bioterror agents to develop vaccines and treatments.
Weaver said the incident was reported immediately to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as required by law.

CDC officials, who reported the matter to the FBI, concurred that it was “extremely unlikely” the virus was stolen, USA Today reports.

An investigation is continuing.

“They did not consider this a public-health threat or a potential theft,” Weaver told USA Today. “We certainly wouldn't want to be in a position where anybody in the community felt we were trying to cover anything up.”

According to USA Today, the virus in the vial missing at the Galveston lab occurs naturally in rodents in Venezuela. At harvest, people have become infected by breathing dusty soil particles contaminated with virus excreted by the rodents, Weaver said.

Of those who are sickened, he told USA Today, about a third die from hemorrhagic fever.
Because there is no treatment or vaccine against the virus and it can infect by being inhaled, scientists work with it only when wearing spacesuit-like gear and in Biosafety Level 4 labs, which have the highest safety and security requirements to prevent the release of infectious agents, USA Today reports.

Weaver told the newspaper that the most likely explanation for the missing vial is that it became stuck to a researcher's glove and dropped unnoticed to the lab's floor and rolled under equipment — then later swept up and incinerated with other lab waste.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Man Who Ambushed Cops Had Anti-Government Beliefs

Sunday, 23 Nov 2014 18:36 PM

A Florida man who set his house on fire and ambushed responding police officers held anti-government, anti-establishmen . . .

Admiral Denies Role in Counterfeiting Casino Chips

Sunday, 23 Nov 2014 16:58 PM

An admiral linked by Navy investigators to counterfeit casino chips denied Sunday that he played any role in making them . . .

Nancy Teeters, First Woman on Federal Reserve Board, Dies at 84

Sunday, 23 Nov 2014 15:51 PM

Nancy Teeters, who in 1978 became the first woman on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, then continued to stand out . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved