Virus Lab Exposed For Numerous Dangerous Accidents

Between 2020 and 2023, there were fifty or more incidents of inadequate safety controls at Colorado State University’s lab, which deals with some of the most dangerous viruses in the world. No one ever told anybody about the occurrences, which included a rabies-infected cat clawing, a hamster biting someone, and tuberculosis mice spitting blood. A lack of openness, according to experts, will cause the public to lose faith in public health organizations.

A series of unannounced mishaps involving diseased cats, rats, and bats occurred at Colorado State University (CSU) from May 2020 to July 2023, causing significant safety concerns. Concerned that employees would ‘rush’ their jobs due to the pandemic’s stress, officials have pointed fingers at this increasing accident rate. In 2020, one researcher got the Zika virus by testing with infected mosquitoes, while another was bitten by hamsters infected with SARS-CoV-2.

A study conducted on a mouse with a particularly contagious form of TB was reported in August 2022 to have included a researcher donning just “eye protection” while being sprayed in the face with a syringe containing a solution and perhaps the animal’s blood. The event reports extensively covered bites and scratches caused by cats infected with rabies. It was discovered in late 2022 that a researcher had been bitten by a bat infected with MERS-CoV when reintroducing it to its cage.

According to experts, the recently disclosed records cast doubt on the university’s plans to build a new bat facility later this year due to significant safety issues. A genetics professor at Rutgers University and co-founder of the nonprofit Biosafety Now, Dr. Bryce Nickels, told that a public records request was the only way dozens of CSU laboratory incidents were made public. Additionally, he brought attention to the fact that researchers are ethically obligated to disclose any lab incidents that might endanger the public, yet they fail to do so due to a lack of openness.