A decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to shut down a Fort Detrick military lab may affect research underway there.
When Valley Fever was being held for use as a weapon, it was stored at Fort Detrick, the United States’ premiere facility for biological weapons and research for other biohazards and dangerous diseases.
The CDC decided to shut down parts of Fort Detrick recently, which will affect some research for diseases such as Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus.
All research at a Fort Detrick laboratory that handles high-level disease-causing material, such as Ebola, is on hold indefinitely after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the organization failed to meet biosafety standards.
No infectious pathogens, or disease-causing material, have been found outside authorized areas at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.
The CDC inspected the military research institute in June and inspectors found several areas of concern in standard operating procedures, which are in place to protect workers in biosafety level 3 and 4 laboratories…
It is worth noting that Valley Fever has been researched there, both for biological weapon use and for medical research purposes in their Biosafety Level 3 facilities. No mention has been made of Coccidioides fungus in the news about this suspension of activities at Fort Detrick but those who recall the status of Valley Fever as a biological weapon cannot keep it far from their thoughts.
The suspension was due to multiple causes, including failure to follow local procedures and a lack of periodic recertification training for workers in the biocontainment laboratories, according to [CDC spokeswoman Caree] Vander Linden. The wastewater decontamination system also failed to meet standards set by the Federal Select Agent Program, Vander Linden said in a follow-up email.