Public Health

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The United States should move faster to implement security recommendations at laboratories handling the most lethal pathogens, congressional investigators said in a report released today (see GSN, June 9).

The Government Accountability Office faulted the "limited action" of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to establish a consistent security strategy for the nation's five Biosafety Level 4 laboratories, which handle incurable disease agents such as Ebola, the Associated Press reported after obtaining a copy of the document before its release.

"Although CDC has taken some modest steps for studying how to improve perimeter security controls for all BSL-4 labs, CDC has not established a detailed plan to implement our recommendation," the report states.

A CDC panel is expected to review security vulnerabilities at the sites; congressional auditors urged the agency to release records that would open its proceedings to public scrutiny.

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