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Thread: Airborne Disease Tests Not a Threat

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    Default Airborne Disease Tests Not a Threat


    Airborne Disease Tests Not a Threat, Says Army Biodefense Lab

    Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011

    Representatives of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Fort Detrick, Md., last week sought to dispel fears over tests involving the release of lethal pathogens in aerosolized form, Frederick News-Post reported (see GSN, Jan. 26).


    The need for the tests was a major point of uncertainty for the Containment Lab Community Advisory Committee, a group of local residents organized last September, member Pete Herz said at a meeting with USAMRIID officials.


    "Do you have to create an offensive capability to test a defensive measure?" asked committee member Kim Loll. The U.S. creation of biological arms was made illegal in 1969, but the group believed diseases released in a spray are usable as weapons, Loll said.


    "The community does have the concern of, are they creating weapons so they can test vaccines against them?" member Alex Hamill added.


    To test the effectiveness of countermeasures against disease agents released into the air through a potential bioterrorism attack, scientists must disperse samples of disease agents in aerosolized form for inhalation by animal test subjects, head viral therapeutics investigator Lisa Hensley said.


    Spray samples are prepared as required immediately before a test and are not stored, she told Frederick County Commissioner David Gray. "And then that's it, it's gone ... that aerosol no longer exists," Hensley said.


    Group members at the meeting asked USAMRIID commander Col. John Skvorak for assurance that adequate safeguards are in place for the site's daily operations, establishment of additional laboratory room and preparation of normal operational protocols. Skvorak said the Army and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention keep a close watch on the facility and its 850 staffers.


    "I think you're running a very disciplined operation, but we can't seem to get our hands on any information that will show that," committee member Ray Hunter said.


    The site's National Environmental Policy Act risk assessment does not provide enough detail on potential dangers at the facility, member Beth Willis said (Megan Eckstein, Frederick News-Post, Jan. 28).
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    Default Re: Airborne Disease Tests Not a Threat

    There you go boys and girls... true and REAL evidence of someone releasing dangerous biological weapons into the air, in an aerosolized form - against animal test subjects.

    It is not inconceivable that such a thing could "escape" and infect human beings (assuming the disease vectors can infect them to begin with). If they are using disease vectors affecting only animals fine, but if these diseases can infect humans, it's time they stopped this immediately.
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