All’s well that ends well should not be the case, especially if it involves the very lethal and highly infectious Ebola virus.
The incident happened inside the CDC labs involving one of its highly trained scientists. The accident which followed two high-profile cases of mishandled samples of anthrax and avian earlier last year resulted in many changes implemented in the country’s top infectious disease fighting agency and led to the hiring of a lab monitoring expert.
The unnamed scientist while working in the US CDC lab in Atlanta who may have accidentally exposed himself to the deadly Ebola virus last December is showing no signs of infection. This was announced by the agency’s director last Friday.
The highly contagious virus which has already claimed the life of thousands in West Africa has also claimed the life of several volunteer health workers. The disease may have ebbed at the moment according to WHO press release but who knows where it’s going to show up again. The situation in Liberia still remained serious with the disease spreading to several rural and very remote areas.
The mix up in the lab is still being investigated according CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden in a conference call at the agency’s headquarters. The Accident happened last December 22. It involved a high level Biosafety scientist who sent the wrong sample of live virus for testing.
The sample was not supposed to be sent to another lab down the hall since it is not equipped to handle live virus. The technician in the less secure lab environment was no’t using the proper protection. It was reported he was wearing no mask during the incident.
The technician was placed in isolation and monitored for 21 days, the incubation period of the lethal virus. The CDC will issue a statement to this effect by the end of January Frieden said.