Smallpox and Anthrax Scandals Cap History of Fumbling Dangerous Materials
The CDC, NIH, and FDA have mishandled hazardous materials, but they aren't alone.
It sounds like the setup to an apocalyptic movie about a pandemic. Live samples of the deadly smallpox virus were found in an unused storage room at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. Also hidden away in that forgotten room were 12 boxes and 327 vials filled with the viruses that cause dengue fever and influenza and the bacteria responsible for spotted fever.
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced in June that an estimated 75 of its scientists had been inadvertently exposed to live anthrax bacteria without proper safety equipment. Last week, the CDC revealed that staffers had mishandled dangerous materials at least four times over the past decade, including