Friday, March 27, 2009

Environmental Health and Safety Nightmare

Scientist(link to MSN article) accidentally injects Ebola into finger.

BERLIN - It's a nightmare scenario worthy of a sci-fi movie script: A scientist accidentally pricks her finger with a needle used to inject the deadly Ebola virus into lab mice.

But in this case, it really happened — to an unidentified 45-year-old woman in Germany.
Within hours of the accident on March 12, several of the scientist's colleagues held a trans-Atlantic telephone conference to map out a way to save her life.

Within 24 hours, an experimental vaccine — never before tried on humans — was on its way to Germany from a lab in Canada.

Within 40 hours, the at-risk scientist was injected with the vaccine.
So far, so good. If the woman is still healthy on April 2, she can consider herself safe.

It's not a 100-percent certainty the researcher was actually infected with Ebola.
If she doesn't become infected, scientists may not know if it was the vaccine, or luck.

3 comments:

Jolly Johnstons said...

Um, I can understand a finger prick. It happens to the best of us. Well, I haven't managed to do it yet, probably because of anal-retentiveness on my part with the double gloves and everything, but I can see how it could happen. But the article makes it sound like the finger was pricked AND the plunger was depressed. At least that's what I think of when I hear the word "inject." That seems mighty hard to do. To yourself. On accident.

Domestically Disabled Girl said...

Honestly, that is why I am not a scientist. I would go beyond that and trip and fall on it or something.
This fall? I was layed off with 9 other teachers in my district. Lack of funding=lack of job=suck.
I LOVE your lists on the sidebar! I am laughing at them right now!

SUEB0B said...

@jollyjohnstone - As a reporter, I probably make those kinds of technical mistakes ALL the time. You drop in, try to learn what you can, and don't always get the phrasing right. Military stories are a special nightmare - those people have a different way to say everything. For instance, did you know that if a flag is halfway down the pole, it is ONLY at "half mast" if it is onboard a SHIP? Otherwise half staff.

Carry on.

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