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SCI/TECH: Anthrax Scare in Winnipeg

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posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 02:09 PM
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The intricacies of high security bio-research shipping and handling came under public scrutiny today when a FedEx truck carrying anthrax collided with a car in Winnipeg. The anthrax had been shipped to Winnipeg from the CDC in Atlanta Georgia. The package was not damaged in the crash. Officials assured Winnipeggers that the anthrax samples were only level 2 and level 3 - and not as dangerous as the level 1 form of the disease.

 



winnipeg.cbc.ca
A Federal Express courier truck carrying a package of anthrax collided with a car in Winnipeg's North End neighbourhood Wednesday, but officials say the package was not damaged in the crash.

The truck was carrying the package for the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health, the federal virology lab downtown.

The centre described the anthrax as level 2 and level 3, which apparently isn't as dangerous as the more severe form of the disease.

A spokesperson for Federal Express says each of its drivers is trained to handle dangerous goods, including chemicals for the virology lab and the Centres for Disease Control in Atlanta.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Wotta crazy world, eh?

I'm not worried though, eh. Winnipeg drivers are pretty safe, y'know. But y'know what else, eh? Those guys in Atlanta better watch it eh, when that FedEx truck rolls up with a bucket fulla Mad Cow prions.

Go figure. Eh.



[edit on 2-3-2005 by soficrow]




posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 02:18 PM
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For some reason it really bothers me that this article refers to anthrax, e. coli, salmonella, and tuberculosis as viruses.

The article doesn't state this, but the truck was most likely carrying cultures of these bugs... While I personally wouldn't want to handle an anthrax culture without some sort of PPE, the danger from cultured bacteria is probably minimal, it's not like the truck was carrying weaponized anthrax spores around.

Honestly, FedEx and the public is probably more in danger from the samples of botulism toxin that are sent to my lab just about every week. The purified toxin, if somehow released (auto accident) could make some people very very sick.

BTW, congrats on your award, sofi... well deserved.



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 02:35 PM
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Originally posted by mattison0922
For some reason it really bothers me that this article refers to anthrax, e. coli, salmonella, and tuberculosis as viruses.





It's called dumbing down, mattison. ...If the article was to be accurate, another 150 or so words would be needed - and thing is, no one would read it. Sucks, don't it?






the danger from cultured bacteria is probably minimal, it's not like the truck was carrying weaponized anthrax spores around.

Honestly, FedEx and the public is probably more in danger from the samples of botulism toxin that are sent to my lab just about every week. The purified toxin, if somehow released (auto accident) could make some people very very sick.





True. But it's too hard to explain, so the public is simply not informed that these little packages routinely are shipped through our streets.

BTW - How DO they ship the nasty stuff? Do you know? ...Can we really believe them when they say they don't use FedEx?


FYI - I laughed out loud when I read the article. ...Wasn't scared or concerned, just deeply amused. Found I just could not write a serious analysis.




...and thanks.



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posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 02:59 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
It's called dumbing down, mattison. ...If the article was to be accurate, another 150 or so words would be needed - and thing is, no one would read it. Sucks, don't it?

Agreed... sad and unfortunate.




True. But it's too hard to explain, so the public is simply not informed that these little packages routinely are shipped through our streets.

Absolutely. They are uninformed. The lab I work in routinely gets purified toxins (the botulism toxin I mentioned, multiple isoforms of Staph enterotoxins) and LOTS of radioactivity all the time. Every bit of comes FedEx... maybe some DHL.


BTW - How DO they ship the nasty stuff? Do you know? ...Can we really believe them when they say they don't use FedEx?

We generally receive our toxins in sealed glass ampules. The glass ampules are further contained in a Polycarbonate container (allegedly crush/shatter proof, and I have to admit they are pretty burly. I can stand on them with my full 190lbs and not break them) with bubble wrap or something similar. Radioactivity is generally shipped in Polycarbonate containers with some sort of shielding. The shipping companies tend to be pretty careful with the radioactivity, but don't really seem to give much thought to the toxins... probably more out of ignorance than anything. A biohazard sticker, which comes on the toxins, apparently is not anywhere near as frightening as a radioactive sticker.



I laughed out loud when I read the article. ...Wasn't scared or concerned, just deeply amused. Found I just could not write a serious analysis.

I was a little surprised when I read the article myself... I wasn't concerned, just surprised a big deal was made of it, or any deal at all.








[edit on 2-3-2005 by mattison0922]



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 05:07 PM
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.
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BTW - the headline has been changed on the original article.

"Truck carrying microbes crashes in Winnipeg"


...I guess they heard you.



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