CDC Report Shows Lab Mishaps with Deadly Viruses

cdc mishaps

The CDC is keeping secret large swaths of information about dozens of recent lab mishaps involving potential bio-terrorism pathogens.

Maybe not the best report to kick off the new year, but an important one regardless.

USA Today filed a FOIA requesting the release of laboratory incident reports from the CDC in 2014.  Two years later, the CDC supplied a heavily redacted report outlining incidents and concerns by CDC workers and shipping vendors highlighting logistical and procedural problems that remain largely hidden from the public eye.

The following is one of many such incidents in which a redacted sender writes Debra Springer, a researcher at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, reporting numerous breaches of shipping and safety protocols after an unlabeled box full of hazardous/infectious materials is delivered to an office desk, instead of the lab.


The e-mail reeks of gross negligence in the handling of these materials: a re-used box for shipping that arrived with a hole in the bottom, the contents of which included a broken sample with no protective barrier.

The author also includes the CDC’s shipping guidelines in the correspondence.

In a separate incident, pathogens appear to have gone missing, though understandably the report is heavily redacted, likely to avoid accountability.

Unfortunately, these are only a few examples; the 503-page report includes several concerning lab incidents in which safety protocols and procedures are not followed.

Please research responsibly.

Read Alison Young’s findings on USA Today.

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