Thursday, June 18, 2009
At an Army biodefense lab in Maryland, they've been doing an inventory of the deadly germs and toxins. And they've found that they have more of it than anyone knew about.
There were more than 9,000 vials of material that weren't reflected in lab records.
A deputy commander says most of the additional vials of material had been left behind in freezers by researchers who retired or left Fort Detrick since 1943. That's when the biological warfare defense program was established there.
He says there were serum samples from patients with Korean hemorrhagic fever from the Korean War era. It's a disease that still has researchers looking for a vaccine.
There were also vials containing viruses and microbes responsible for Ebola, plague, anthrax, botulism and many other ailments.
Nowadays, the lab official says, there's a better system of tracking the material.
About half of the extra material has now been destroyed. The rest is considered useful.