Galveston Laboratory Loses Vial of Deadly Venezuelan Virus

GALVESTON (Kiii News) - A vial containing a deadly Venezuelan virus has gone missing from the Galveston National Laboratory, according to ABC News.

Reports say that the University of Texas Medical Branch, which owns the $174 million facility, announced the missing vial of Guanarito on Saturday, March 23. Researchers at the Galveston lab were conducting a routine inspection when they noticed that there were only four vials of the virus instead of five.

Guanarito causes hemorrhagic fever, much like Ebola, which causes bleeding under the skin, in internal organs and from body orifices, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The good news is that researchers say the virus can only spread between humans in theory, and normally spreads between rodents; and according to the president of the University of Texas Medical Branch, they do not believe it can survive in rodents that are native to the U.S.

This incident calls into question safety procedures for labs like the one in Galveston, which require some of the most stringent regulations because of their study of biosafety level BSL-4 materials, such as Anthrax, Ebola and even the plague.


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