Explosion at Russian research lab that stores smallpox virus: officials

A virus research center in Russia — one of two places in the world that houses the smallpox virus — exploded on Monday, officials said.The blast at the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology, or “Vector,” left one employee injured and the building, located in Koltsovo, near the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, survived without structural damage, according to a statement from the facility.ANTI-VAXXER WHOSE SON CONTRACTED MEASLES SAYS SHE PLAYED ‘RUSSIAN ROULETTE’ WITH BOY’S HEALTHThe suspected gas explosion happened on the fifth floor of the 6-floor concrete building during scheduled repairs, Russian-owned news agency TASS reported.Nikolai Krasnikov, the head of Koltsovo — which is known as a science city — said no biohazardous material was being stored where the blast occurred, and that there’s no threat to the population. He added the worker who was injured suffered burns and is in intensive care.
A virus research lab in Russia, one of two places in the world that stores the smallpox virus, was rocked by an explosion on Monday, officials said.
(REUTERS)The facility in Russia, created in 1974, is one of two places that stores the variola virus, otherwise known as the deadly infectious smallpox disease. The other location is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Ga.Described as “one of the world’s most devastating diseases known to humanity,” smallpox was declared eradicated by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1980 following a worldwide immunization campaign.But following its eradication, scientists and public health officials felt research was still necessary and agreed to hold the smallpox virus in four locations across the world — the U.S., Russia, England and South Africa.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPWithin years, England and South Africa destroyed their stocks of the virus or transferred them to other labs — leaving the U.S. and Russia to be the only locations left to store the deadly disease, according to the CDC.In 2016, WHO determined the Vector facility “was found to meet international levels of biosafety and biosecurity for variola virus research and storage.”


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