There’s a popular medical thriller novel in which a global pandemic is intentionally set off by an evil plot designed to reduce the human population. In the book, a nefarious drug company inserts live avian flu viruses into vaccine materials that are distributed to countries around the world to be injected into patients as “flu shots.” Those patients then become carriers for these highly-virulent strains of avian flu which go on to infect the world population and cause widespread death.
There’s only one problem with this story: It’s not fiction. Or, at least, the part about live avian flu viruses being inserted into vaccine materials isn’t fiction. It’s happening right now.
Deerfield, Illinois-based pharmaceutical company Baxter International Inc. has just been caught shipping live avian flu viruses mixed with vaccine material to medical distributors in 18 countries. The “mistake” (if you can call it that, see below…) was discovered by the National Microbiology Laboratory in Canada. The World Health Organization was alerted and panic spread throughout the vaccine community as health experts asked the obvious question: How could this have happened? …
The shocking answer is that this couldn’t have been an accident. Why? Because Baxter International adheres to something called BSL3 (Biosafety Level 3) – a set of laboratory safety protocols that prevent the cross-contamination of materials.
As explained on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biosafety_level#Biosafety_level_3):
“Laboratory personnel have specific training in handling pathogenic and potentially lethal agents, and are supervised by competent scientists who are experienced in working with these agents. This is considered a neutral or warm zone. All procedures involving the manipulation of infectious materials are conducted within biological safety cabinets or other physical containment devices, or by personnel wearing appropriate personal protective clothing and equipment. The laboratory has special engineering and design features.”
Under the BSL3 code of conduct, it is impossible for live avian flu viruses to contaminate production vaccine materials that are shipped out to vendors around the world.
If you wanted to start a pandemic you’d be hard pressed to find a more efficient initial distribution vector than an infected human.