BL-4 labs

Dr. R. Marusyk rmarusyk at
Tue Nov 29 17:51:18 EST 1994

For the edification of the hoi polloi:
The level 4 containment laboratory located in a Toronto suburb is NOT a
research laboratory. The facility is operated and maintained under the
jurisdiction of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Health Canada. The
laboratory was constructed solely for the purpose of containing any
level 4 agent found, or imported into, Canada. Other than for necessary
safety drills and to maintain the skill of the associated staff, this
particular level 4 containment laboratory may never be used. With the
far-ranging and relatively rapid movement of people from one area of the
world to another, the probability of an individual arriving on scene
with an <exotic virus> disease is a real possibility. What should the
health authorities do, put the individual (if a child) in the Hospital
for Sick Children in Toronto? I think not. So, forget the media hype and
the attempt to generate hysteria on the part of uninformed or
misinformed individuals, and accept the level 4 laboratory for what it
is - a very important safety device.

Raymond G Marusyk
Professor of Virology
President, Canadian Society of Microbiologists

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