The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently faced a number of congressional hearings due to a series of equipment failures and high-profile lab incidents involving deadly viruses, bacteria and pathogens. The latest episode came to light earlier this month thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by investigative journalists at USA Today.
The report details one harrowing scene in which four scientists desperately struggled to maintain safety protocols while trapped inside a malfunctioning decontamination chamber. Richard Ebright, a Rutgers University biosafety expert, was quoted saying that the event “…reads like a screenplay for a disaster movie.”
Encased in spacesuit-like gear needed to protect them from the world’s deadliest viruses, four scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stepped into their lab’s decontamination chamber where a shower of chemicals was supposed to kill anything on them and make it safe for them to exit into an adjacent changing room.
But the shower wouldn’t start, and warning lights appeared as a cascading series of safety systems began to fail inside one of the world’s most advanced biosafety level 4 labs. That’s the highest level of containment and security, reserved for work with deadly Ebola and smallpox viruses and other pathogens that lack vaccines or reliable treatments.
The CDC claims the incident was “inadvertently omitted” from their congressional report. However, this new information comes amid reports that a number of labs across the nation have had their federal permits suspended for safety violations while working with bioterror pathogens. It’s beginning to seem that even the sinister Umbrella Corporation has a better track record when it comes to securing their infamous zombie virus!
Of course, we may have a little time before a lethal virus finally escapes its secret research facility and brings the dead back to life. But if you want to learn more about the ongoing equipment failures and lab incidents at the CDC, please be sure to visit USA Today online for additional information, including the original story by Alison Young.