CDC Halts Work At Top Security Germ Lab over Air Hose Safety
Faulty air hoses at CDC's $214 million Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory facility in Atlanta have prompted the agency to halt lab activities at the facility. The air hoses are connected to the protective suits worn by lab scientists to enable them breathe fresh air inside a lab that is brimming with deadly viruses. About 100 lab workers use the air hose inside biosafety level 4 labs operated by CDC before the shutdown.
The air hoses have a history of malfunctioning in the lab
Some years ago, USA TODAY carried out a number of investigations on CDC top security germ labs and found that the air hoses used in these labs have a history of disconnecting while in use. This could expose lab scientists to denizens of lethal pathogens such as Ebola virus among others. Investigations however revealed that CDC had been covering up these lab accidents until a federal request forced them to own up, USA TODAY reveals.
Due to this Federal of Information Act request pushed by USA TODAY, an unnamed CDC scientist wrote in 2013 that his air hose connector actually came off while working on deadly pathogens in the lab. CDC acted immediately by cautioning lab scientists to ensure their protective suits are in order to prevent exposure to deadly germs. This information might not have come out if a federal push had not been applied on CDC.
The air hoses are not certified for breathable air
Following subtle pressure, CDC's associate director for laboratory science and safety, Steve Monroe, revealed that his agency had been in touch with the manufacturer of the lab air hose. Although he wouldn't mention the company, he stated the company revealed that the air hoses were not certified to breathe safe air in lab settings. He however said his agency has been transparent enough about the issue to halt lab work at the facility, the New York Times wrote.
Monroe clarified that the CDC has been able to find a manufacturer that is able to fix the faulty air hoses and enable them to connect tightly with protective lab suits. He added that some shipment of the modified hoses will be obtained by Friday evening and that more will be obtained as work progresses in the lab. The air hoses supply purified, breathable air into the worn lab protective gear so that scientists could be insulated from fatal infectious germs at work.
CDC Says Flu Vaccine Is 48% Effective against H3N2 Flu Strain This Year
The publication Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that this year’s flu vaccine is 48% effective against the current strain of flu virus. Health officials however advise that regardless of this less-than-perfect vaccine effectiveness, everyone should endeavor to get a vaccination shot. They insist that flu vaccination goes a long way at preventing flu hospitalizations and related deaths.
Nodding Syndrome: Parasitic Worms, Black Flies Are To Blame
Scientists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have published a new study in the journal Science Translational Medicine stating a link between Nodding syndrome and an autoimmune response to the parasitic proteins of a parasitic worm. This parasitic worm has also been linked to river blindness.
Shoveling Snow after Major Snowfall Linked To Heart Attack Risks in Men
A team of Canadian researchers has underscored the potential risks of heart attack for men who shovel snow piles after any major snowfall. The researchers analyzed decades of medical data involving hospitalizations and heart attack deaths in men to reach a conclusion that snowstorms portend death for men who shovel snow.
CDC Zika Warning: Be Prepared For Mosquito Season
Spring break is just around the corner, and the CDC wants travelers to remember that the Zika virus is still a concern. Ramping up efforts to warn people about Zika as we edge closer to mosquito season, the authority on diseases discuss current mosquito control practices.
PrEP For HIV: Raising Awareness; Could It Be The Cure For The Disease?
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