For the third time in less than a year, a failure in laboratory containment appears to have caused an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
The most recent incident occurred in China's leading SARS research laboratory, at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Beijing. So far, eight people are confirmed or suspected of contracting the disease, and one person has died. Authorities have closed the laboratory, and more than 200 institute employees have been quarantined.
Chinese authorities now seem to have the situation under control, but some are warning that the outbreak may show a failure in applying guidelines to monitor the health of the people who work in laboratories.
Reference: Science 304, 659 (2004)