The two Australian lab technicians exposed to bird flu, at CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Moolap, will have to stay away from family and friends and be kept in quarantine, for the duration of the incubation danger period.
The Australian government science research body went into damage control yesterday, saying the incident was due to human error and a breakdown of the buddy system in which workers double-check each other’s safety equipment.
But while the country’s top scientists say there’s little chance the two have been infected, they don’t want the risk of anyone else being exposed.
CSIRO animal health laboratory director Dr Martyn Jeggo yesterday revealed that the researchers had been involved in a fairly straight-forward procedure of infecting live ducks with a South-East Asian form of H5N1 to see if the birds would excrete the virus. “the risk is low, it doesn’t exist.” he said, ““But, as a precaution, we agreed to put them into quarantine at home.”
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