- 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
- "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
- 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
- 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.
- E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- Copyright © 2001-2003 United Press International.
All rights reserved.
- Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
- Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message
board at: http://www.clickitnews.com/ubbthreads/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=emergingdiseases
- Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
- Go with God and in Good Health