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Dangerous lab leaks happen far more often than the public is aware | Alison Young

Biological facilities in the US and around the world suffer breaches, including of potentially pandemic-causing pathogens, but are shrouded in secrecy

At biological research facilities across the United States and around the world, hundreds of safety breaches happen every year at labs experimenting with dangerous pathogens. Scientists and other lab workers are bitten by infected animals, stuck by contaminated needles and splashed with infectious fluids. They are put at risk of exposures when their protective gear malfunctions or critical building biosafety systems fail.

And, like all humans, the people working in laboratories make mistakes and they sometimes cut corners or ignore safety procedures – even when working with pathogens that have the potential to cause a global pandemic.

Alison Young is an investigative reporter and the Curtis B Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Reporting at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Her book Pandora’s Gamble: Lab Leaks, Pandemics, and a World at Risk was released on 25 April

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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