‘Hundreds Of Accidents’ In US Biolabs Undisclosed To Public: Report

A review of roughly 5,500 pages of material from the National Institutes of Health – obtained through the Freedom of Information Act – shows a "litany of mishaps," with some involving "deadly or debilitating viruses."

At a glance

  • The investigation was conducted by The Intercept news outlet and covers roughly the past 18 years.
  • While many incidents did not result in harm, some resulted in scientists getting sick or exposing potential pandemic pathogens to society.
  • In one case, a graduate researcher at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri was treating a mouse infected with the Chikungunya virus when the needle slipped and penetrated her skin through two layers of protective gloves. The prick did not draw blood, so the student didn’t immediate reprot the incident to her supervisors.
  • However, over the following days, she fell ill with the virus, then revealed what had happened.
  • Four other needle injuries over the period investigated reportedly occurred at Washington University.

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