UK Health Radio Medical News Update – On the Hour
Deadly Plague microbes found in US lab.
The BBC has reported the alarming information that some long forgotten highly infectious microbes had been found in government laboratories in the USA.
The microbes that include the plague, botulism and a rare tropical disease were found stored and forgotten in a lab in Washington DC. There had been a concerted effort to identify deadly microbes after some vials that contained smallpox were accidentally uncovered in a laboratory in the USA. The substances some of which went back one hundred years have now been destroyed. One bottle of ricin a highly poisonous toxin was apparently found in a box along with microbes that were thought to be 85 to 100 years.
The US National Institute of Health have said that they take the matter very seriously and that the fact that these deadly substances have turned up highlighted the need for the utmost vigilance in keeping track and monitoring laboratory materials.
The newly discovered toxins had apparently been improperly stored but that the containers they were in were sealed so that there had been no threat to the staff of the laboratories. However the potential for disaster is very real when you consider that the discovery that gave rise to the latest check was of smallpox - a disease that was eradicated in 1980.
The possibility of a nightmarish world pandemic is brought sharply into focus by such a discovery and is why the US authorities are very keen to ensure that appropriate action is taken and that checks in all laboratories are carried out to ensure that there are no other stored deadly materials that have been overlooked.
UK Health Radio Medical News Update on the Hour
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