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Lab where smallpox found had 300 undocumented vials of viruses, bacteria

Safety lapses

More than 300 undocumented vials at lab

The scientist who uncovered forgotten vials of smallpox this month also found more than 300 undocumented vials at the same lab, according to the Food and Drug Administration. FDA officials say the vials list the names of other contagious viruses and bacteria, including dengue, influenza and rickettsia. Previously the government said only that it had recovered six glass vials of smallpox dating from the 1950s. The freeze-dried samples were found in a building at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., that the FDA has used since 1972. The find was disturbing because smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980, and world health authorities said the only known samples left were safely stored in secure laboratories in Atlanta and in Russia.

Infections stabilize

Number of people with HIV steady

The number of people with HIV worldwide has remained steady in the past two years and AIDS-related deaths are at their lowest since peaking nearly a decade ago, according to a report Wednesday from the United Nations AIDS agency. Officials said ending the AIDS epidemic is possible although they acknowledge the number of new infections, more than 2 million last year, is still very high. UNAIDS estimated 35 million people were living with HIV last year and in 2012. The agency wants to reduce deaths and new cases by 90 percent by 2030.

Times wires

Lab where smallpox found had 300 undocumented vials of viruses, bacteria 07/16/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 9:03pm]
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