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Officials: Texas lab with dangerous pathogens secured
Workers at a Galveston, Texas, laboratory said to contain dangerous biological agents secured the pathogens Friday ahead of Hurricane Ike, officials said.
The pathogens, which include the deadly ebola virus, were purposely destroyed before the staff left the facility in advance of the hurricane, said Gov. Rick Perry's spokesman, Andrew Barlow.
The Web site for the University of Texas Medical Branch/Galveston National Labs was completed and opened just recently.
The lab is one of the country's five biosafety labs that are Level-IV, the highest level. Such laboratories typically handle pathogens like smallpox, tularemia and anthrax to develop vaccines and antidotes.
The laboratory followed protocols for shutting, said Gretchen Michael, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
She said that for security reasons, she would not detail the procedures or describe the agents.