Bob's Links and Rants

Welcome to my rants page! You can contact me by e-mail: Blog roll. Site feed.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Canadians Save Our Bacon

A Cincinnati company sent vials of a deadly flu virus to nearly 5000 laboratories in 18 countries last year.
"The risk is relatively low that a lab worker will get sick, but a large number of labs got it. And if someone does get infected, the risk of severe illness is high, and this virus has shown to be fully transmissible," Klaus Stohr, influenza chief at the W.H.O., said from the agency's headquarters in Geneva.
It was not immediately clear why the 1957 pandemic strain, which killed 1 million to 4 million people, was included in the proficiency testing kits.
On March 26, the National Microbial Laboratory in Canada detected the 1957 pandemic strain in a sample and informed the W.H.O. and the disease centers. The lab investigated, and on Friday told the W.H.O. that it had traced the virus to the test kit.

The W.H.O. then notified the health authorities in all countries that received the kits and recommended that all the samples be destroyed immediately.
In other words, at about the same time that Charles Duelfer was finishing up his billion-dollar report on the non-existent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, for which $170 billion dollars and tens of thousands of lives have been wasted, a lab in the US was distributing a virus capable of killing millions far and wide.

Dave Lindorff has more in Counterpunch.