A virus that caused the death of two million people in 1957 has been accidentally shipped to 3700 labs as part of a flu testing kit. According to the New Scientist article:
A few of the CAP kits were sent to labs in Asia, the Middle East and South America, as well as Europe and North America. The kits originators had to know what they contained, in order to evaluate the test results. However, when Canada’s National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg identified the strain on 26 March, it alerted the US Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. Worryingly, it initially found the potentially deadly virus in a sample unrelated to the test kit – meaning it had already escaped within the lab.
Worryingly, indeed. Today, with the increased mobility of the world’s population, I’d hate to think what havoc this bug could wreak today if it found its way out of the lab.