Deadly Virus Disappears From Lab

This is completely reassuring, we don't have to worry. A vial containing a virus that causes haemorrhagic fever has gone missing from a research facility in Texas. OK, maybe we should worry.

The virus can only be transmitted through contact with rats from Venezuela. It --let's cross our fingers now -- "is not believed" to be able to be transmitted through other kinds of rats or through people.

It doesn't look like any foul play was involved. The University of Texas Medical Branch, where the vial went missing, said that there wasn't a breach in the security of its facilities. What officials suspect is that the vial may have been destroyed during the cleaning process. If you see a random vial lying on the street, don't try to make purple drank out of it. For the rest of us. [CBS News]

Picture: Neokryuger/Shutterstock

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Comments

    don’t try to make purple drank out of it.

    Huh? Purple drink maybe? Is it even purple?

      I think 'drank' refers to the way uneducated people in america say 'drink', the writer might be inferring that only the most stupid person would drink a random vial found on the street.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_drank

        Ahh ok. Well in that case it would probably be a benefit to the community if anyone who normally makes drugs from cough syrup did use this instead. Apart from it's potential to be transmitted to others, of course.

        Juice?!!.... Juice!!!

        I want mah appledrank!

    Or it could be a typo.

      nope, its a drink, called Purple Drank.. Get it? Good.

        My bad.

        Its more likely to be fluoro pink or pale orange...just fyi. Depending on the culture medium its in and the pH.

    And then they ask us to believe them when they claim that working on an avian flu that can be transmitted by air (and so has the potential to wipe out much of the world's population) cannot possibly pose a risk.

      Flu is usually transmitted "by air" (droplets, fomites, that sort of thing). They who by the way?

    It's a reference to a cocktail containing cough syrup. The term was popularised by several rappers, most notably probably being Lil' Wayne

    Are we all of a sudden living in a terrible action flick? Where's Tom Cruise and Jason Statham to help us?

    Given the ability for most viruses to mutate into something deadlier, I think I'll start puckering now......
    Fifty cents five cents Fifty cents five cents Fifty cents five cents Fi..............

    you'd expect that the company responsible would now focus their efforts toward a vaccine, in the case of this becoming a problem.

      Its not a company thing. Its a University research thing. No conspiracy to see here.

        my bad.
        hopefully the researchers focus their efforts.. ... ..becoming a problem.

    “is not believed” to be able to be transmitted through other kinds of rats or through people.
    just like you can only contract HIV if you're homosexual?

      Just for interest. Male to Male transmission is the "easiest" way to transmit HIV to both actors. This is because the anal tissue/membrane is very thin (designed to absorb) and is much easier for the virus to move through. A Vaginal wall is much thicker (it is evolved to take a pounding) and thus transmission is more challenging.

      Taking PC out of the equations, the highest prevalence of HIV in the West is in the gay community.

        There's also the factor of intravenous drug abuse and needle sharing which happens in the more "high risk" areas of the gay community. Not saying it doesn't happen else where but, y'know...

    Probably just an unrecorded usage or destruction event....but do like the warm fuzzy secure feeling this statement gives me...

    The virus in the vial is called Guanarito; it is not known to be transmitted from person-to-person and therefore poses no appreciable public health risk. It is native only to Venezuela and can cause hemorrhagic fever. In the limited area of Venezuela where the virus is found, it is transmitted only by rodents native to the area and is not believed to be capable of surviving naturally in rodents in the United States.

    http://www.utmb.edu/news/article5656.aspx

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