Lynn Klotz, member of the Center’s Scientists Working Group on Chemical and Biological Threats, authored a study that was recently mentioned in Salon.
Just last year, Lynn Klotz of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation wrote a paper in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists entitled “Human Error in High-biocontainment Labs: A Likely Pandemic Threat.” Wrote Klotz:
Incidents causing potential exposures to pathogens occur frequently in the high security laboratories often known by their acronyms, BSL3 (Biosafety Level 3) and BSL4. Lab incidents that lead to undetected or unreported laboratory-acquired infections can lead to the release of a disease into the community outside the lab; lab workers with such infections will leave work carrying the pathogen with them. If the agent involved were a potential pandemic pathogen, such a community release could lead to a worldwide pandemic with many fatalities. Of greatest concern is a release of a lab-created, mammalian-airborne-
transmissible, highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, such as the airborne-transmissible H5N1 viruses created in the laboratories of Ron Fouchier in the Netherlands and Yoshihiro Kawaoka in Madison, Wisconsin.