Some Additional Context for Recreating Spanish Flu

The researchers who are recreating the strain of influenza that resulted in the 1918 global pandemic had this to say about the potential risk (boldface mine):

The scientists involved in the project contend there’s no real risk to public safety. The vials of this frightening germ — about 10 of them — are locked away at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said Terrence Tumpey, the CDC research scientist who constructed the virus.

Speaking of the CDC….

As many as 75 scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may have been exposed to live anthrax bacteria after potentially infectious samples were sent to laboratories unequipped to handle dangerous pathogens, a spokesman for the federal health agency said Thursday.

The agency was testing a new way to kill anthrax, which they discovered did not work as well as they expected.

…The lapse occurred sometime from June 6 to June 13. Workers in three labs who were not wearing protective gear moved and experimented with samples of the highly infectious bacteria that were supposed to have been deactivated, the agency said.

It added in a statement that procedures used in two of those laboratories in Atlanta, where the C.D.C. is based, may have “aerosolized the spores,” essentially blowing the bacteria into the air. The exposure was discovered June 13, when the bacterial plates were collected for disposal and live B. anthracis colonies, or anthrax bacteria, were found.

Regarding the recreated flu strains, we are dealing with a question of when, not if.

Nothing to worry about, though.

This entry was posted in Fucking Morons, Influenza, Viruses. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Some Additional Context for Recreating Spanish Flu

  1. Horace Boothroyd III says:

    Call me optimistic, Mike, but I expect that the Spanish Flu lab will use decontamination protocols that are proven to work rather than mucking about with experimental designs that might work perfectly – or not, you never know. Seriously, why this foray into mindless fearmongering? With your demonstrated newfound competence in sowing FUD you should have no trouble landing a juicy sinecure with the tobacco industry or one of the Koch brothers’ climate change denial think tanks.

  2. Pingback: Another Reason Why Recreating the Spanish Flu Might Not Be Such a Good Idea | Mike the Mad Biologist

Comments are closed.