Ebola, Marburg among USAMRIID lab incidents

by jeeg 8. April 2013 22:22

Six potential biological exposures within the highest level of biosafety labs at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in 2012 included the Ebola, Marburg, Andes and Sin Nombre viruses, spokeswoman Caree Vander Linden said in an email Thursday.



The incidents included two potential exposures to Ebola, three separate incidents with Marburg and another incident with Andes and Sin Nombre in one room within a suite. Another potential exposure to Marburg occurred in a second room within the same suite as the Andes and Sin Nombre incident, Vander Linden said.


The six incidents occurred in Biosafety Level 4 labs in which employees are required to wear positive pressure suits for protection and breathe filtered air while working. All six of the possible exposures in BSL-4 labs resulted from the pressure suits, according to information posted on USAMRIID's website last week. That's up from one potential exposure in 2011. The increase prompted USAMRIID officials to seek a redesign of one of the two suits used by the lab, according to the website.


The incidents were among eight potential exposures that originated in USAMRIID labs at Fort Detrick in 2012. Two others, including potential monkeypox and anthrax exposures, occurred in BSL-3 labs, in which employees change into scrubs before working and use other protective equipment depending on the task at hand.


None of the employees became ill from any of the potential exposures. All were placed under surveillance by USAMRIID personnel after each incident.


 Courtney Mabeus , Frederick News Post



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