CBC News: Destroy mislabelled pandemic flu samples, WHO tells labs: "Destroy mislabelled pandemic flu samples, WHO tells labs
Last Updated Tue, 12 Apr 2005 20:17:24 EDT
Canadian scientists were the first to spot a pandemic flu strain that was mistakenly sent to labs in 18 countries, sparking an urgent recall by the WHO on Tuesday.
* INDEPTH: Flu
A U.S. company sent mislabelled samples of the H2N2 influenza that triggered a pandemic in 1957 to nearly 5,000 labs worldwide, as part a routine testing program.
Since the strain hasn't infected humans since 1969 and it is not included in flu shots, people under the age of 37 have no immunity to H2N2.
Although the risk of a laboratory accident causing a pandemic was low, WHO urged scientists to immediately destroy the materials."