Cause of FMD outbreak

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DL

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Jan 29, 2007
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thought this was pretty interesting

An aging drainage pipe that connected the Merial Animal Health unit which produces FMD vaccines and the Institute of Animal Health (IAH) which is a FMD reference diagnostic laboratory in Surrey, England, may be part of the cause.  This pipe is supposed to carry effluent from the Merial lab to a sterilization tank containing NaOH at the IAH lab.  Apparently, during heavy rains this past July, the drainage system overflowed which released virus-containing effluent onto the surface through poorly sealed drain covers.  It is speculated that vehicular traffic & tractors spread the virus from roads to adjacent farms.  Apparently, there had been debates between the two labs during the past years over who should pay for replacement of the aging pipes. 

The complete news report can be viewed at:  http://www.vetscite.org/publish/items/003952/index.html
 

SWMO

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Jul 27, 2007
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Carthage MO
I read that article.  It's somewhat sobering when you think of all the strains of viruses and bacteria that governments and private research institutes have stored and do research with, both animal and human.  It only takes a seemingly small mistake to cost millions of dollars and possibly lives. 

The idea that small pox could have been reintroduced into society because their controls with that virus aren't stringent enough is downright scary.

I remember when the University of Missouri-Columbia had to seal off a buiding on campus and totally gut and redo it because at some point in history they were doing research on (I believe some types of radiation) and were pouring the waste down the drains.  That was during my student years and I don't really remember the particulars just that the building was totally shut down for a number of years.
 

knabe

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Hollister, CA
i can't believe this is even an issue!  in our lab, the ONLY thing that goes down the drain is pH adjusted waste from ~pH 2.5 to ~ pH6.5 from robot rinses.  EVERYTHING else goes to the incinerator.  all bacteria must be prekilled with betadine.  pH of ALL water out of the building is monitored for temperature and pH on a tape.  this of course doesn't guarantee nothing will happen, but boy does the city get upset if that needle moves due to pressure on the waste treatment plant for low pH.  other safeguards are progressively more stringent for more virulent life forms and must be secondarily contained with no access to drains, both in protocols and lab design.  of course we are near the ocean, and in a city with no crime, so public safety has little to do.  wow, as an antiregulatory demagogue, i can't believe i said that.

i spilled radiation once in grad school because someone bumped me as i was screwing on a lid, P33.  not really that dangerous, 3-5 feet or plastic shield for protection, but boy howdy did we get looked at for a while.  clean up was a total pain, with monitoring for months afterwards.

i'm pretty sure here there is no pipe connecting sanitation allowed that is connected to sewer.

aging sewer pipes are in desparate need of replacement.  even the sleeves that have been used to extend life are crumbling.  this is a looming disaster with lots of required tax dollars to fix it.  many existing pipelines were lain with pipe from companies that have gone out of business from lawsuits over the integrity of their pipes because cities were forced to accept the lowest bids.  huge problem in my area for pipes which contain drinking water.  in the last 10 years, there have been 7 MAJOR breaks in water pipes surrounding my area.  the governemt is drastically seeking funds to replace the ENTIRE pipeline as the costs of breakage are exceeding cost of replacement over a shorter and shorter window of time.  serviceability in the future is a major issue of pipe design so one doesn't have to retrench to service.
 

DL

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Jan 29, 2007
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Sure is an excellent example of biosecurity - do you ever wonder who is watching the store?
 
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