Friday, April 15, 2005

Deadly Flu Kits Around the World

When nature is not showing us its wrath, we volunteer to do the job- nothing new in here, right?

check this out:

2 nations Lebanon and Mexico never received deadly flu kits: WHO
April 16 , 2005
CBC News

GENEVA - Some samples of a pandemic flu strain accidentally sent to labs around the world never made it to their destinations in Lebanon and Mexico, the World Health Organization said Friday.
Officials at the United Nations health agency aren't sure that the samples were actually sent, however.
"Some of the countries and laboratories never received anything," said the organization's flu expert, Klaus Stohr. "They were on the address list of the college, but never received anything."
WHO officials are trying to confirm whether kits were shipped to Mexico and Lebanon before launching an intensive search for the supposedly missing samples, he said.
Beginning in October, the College of American Pathologists mistakenly sent 3,747 international laboratories a strain of H2N2 influenza similar to the one that killed 4 million people when it sparked a 1957 flu pandemic.
It was contained in kits used routinely to test for pathogens.
Flu vaccines have contained no protection against the H2N2 strain since 1969, so people below the age of 37 have no immunity against the disease.
Researchers at Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory detected the mislabelled samples on March 26, warning WHO that the H2N2 virus was being distributed instead of the less dangerous H3N2 strain.
Of the 18 countries whose labs received the samples, 12 have now confirmed that the virus material has been destroyed, Stohr said.
That accounts for two-thirds of all the labs that received the kits.