SARS And The Military
From Patricia Doyle, PhD

The UPI article below: "Experts Say Labs Are Biggest SARS threat", also indicates that the researcher is military. This is significant. The UPI article proves that experts are now saying what I have said for many years.
Think about PLum Island having and working on SARS. Can you imagine it? Well, SARS is a so-called zoonotic virus, supposedly jumping from civet cats or other animals to humans which would give the Plum the "right" to work on SARS.
I, however, do NOT believe SARS naturally jumped from animal to man. I am 100% sure that the First Military Medical University in Guangdong helped the virus along. It recombined several viruses, including Influenza, in bacteria, and added to it some mycoplasma and voila: SARS!
Experts - Labs are biggest SARS threat
By Steve Mitchell
United Press International
WASHINGTON (UPI) -- The recent case of a Taiwanese man who contracted SARS while working with the virus in a laboratory underscores the need for developing better safeguard procedures for scientific research with the disease, experts told United Press International.
This is the second case in four months of a researcher developing the disease during a lab accident. The first occurred in Singapore in September when a 27-year-old virologist working on the West Nile virus at the Environmental Health Institute was infected with SARS due to sloppy procedures.
"An argument could be made that the single biggest risk for a new SARS outbreak comes from virus laboratories rather than civet cats in China," said Dr. Karl Johnson, who serves as a consultant for lab safety involving deadly pathogens to the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Civet cats have been identified as a possible source of the SARS virus.
Johnson noted he is particularly concerned about research involving the SARS virus because it is easily communicable to people and can rapidly spread around the world as it did earlier this year, infecting more than 8,000 people and killing more than 750.
"The (Taiwan) event certainly says the world virology community now has two strikes, so how many strikes are you going to give them?" asked Johnson, who more than two decades ago developed the first biosafety level 4-laboratory --the highest level of lab safety procedures -- at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. "I don't want to see strike three for Godsakes."
Dr. Donald E. Low, chief of microbiology at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, said the Taiwanese incident should serve as "a wake-up call" to the research community.
"It appears now (that lab exposure) is going to be a greater threat than transmission of the SARS virus from animals to humans," Low said.
This is the second time a researcher has contracted the disease in a lab and there have been no cases of people contracting it from animals since SARS first emerged in November, 2002, he said.
The Taiwan man, a 44-year-old senior scientist at the National Defense University in Taipei, flew to Singapore to attend a medical conference and may have exposed as many as 70 people to the disease. Singapore officials have placed the people under home quarantine but so far they say nobody has developed any symptoms.
"It sounds like we dodged a couple of bullets here," Low said. "If he had developed symptoms while in Singapore and flown back, the potential is there for exposing a number of individuals who then would've flown off to different parts of the world."
Johnson said public pressure will come to bear on scientists if any of the 70 people quarantined come down with disease. "If that happens, the whole world is going to set on edge again and point the finger back on the entire virology community of researchers," he said.
"If we continue to put ourselves at risk like this, we can only get away with it so many times," Low said. "It's ridiculous to think we beat it and now we are exposing ourselves to it again because of human error."
In response to the Singapore incident, the World Health Organization issued laboratory guidelines for working with the SARS virus in October. The international health agency recommended that SARS research be done in biosafety level 3 or BSL 3 laboratories, which involves working with the agent in a plastic box that has holes fitted with rubber gloves and air filters that prevent any pathogens from leaking into the surrounding air.
Johnson recommended going to BSL 3-plus. This would involve additional procedures such as running the air that leaves the entire laboratory through a filter to protect the surrounding community from any accidental releases.
Researchers would be required to wear a hood and protective suit that covers the upper half of their body. The suit contains a battery-powered filter so "even if you had an accident and are exposed to (SARS), you are just not able to breathe any contaminated air," he said.
Even these procedures may not be enough to prevent all accidental exposures, however. Taiwan officials have said the researcher was working in a BSL-4 lab, the highest level of safety that is generally reserved for Ebola, smallpox and other highly lethal diseases.
In addition, no one knows how many labs around the world are working with the SARS virus or the types of safety procedures they are following, Low said. He noted that he still has clinical specimens in his lab from patients who died from SARS earlier this year and labs throughout Asia where the outbreak hit the hardest are also likely to have access to such specimens.
Steve Mitchell is UPI's Medical Correspondent.
Copyright © 2001-2003 United Press International. All rights reserved.
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
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Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
Go with God and in Good Health



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