The Bethesda Smallpox Snafu Was Worse Than We Thought

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As it turns out, a laboratory storage room in Bethesda, Md., was found to contain more than just the 16 vials of smallpox (when only two places on the planet are allowed to store the disease). The storage container held another 300 vials of viruses like dengue fever and influenza, and the Center for Disease Control can’t figure out how it even got there.

Last month, the CDC accidentally exposed several scientists to live anthrax. It’s so bad even CDC director Thomas Frieden is saying they’ve got an “an insufficient culture of safety.” Though of course, that’s an understatement.

While the CDC figures out how not to spread disease, Frieden has ordered its “highest security labs” to stop sending biological materials anywhere at all.

That’s a start.



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