Saturday, February 7, 2009

Plague-Infested Mice Missing From New Jersey Research Lab

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The frozen remains of two mice injected with the organism that causes plague have not been accounted for seven weeks after being discovered missing at a University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey facility in Newark, the university said Friday.

The FBI investigated and determined there was no risk to public health or any indication of the terrorist link.

UMDNJ's Public Health Research Institute issued a four-paragraph statement late Friday saying it believes the red hazardous waste bag containing the dead mice was sterilized and incinerated along with another bag.

"Although the mice in the missing bag were used in vaccine experiments involving the bacteria Yersinia pestis, the organism that causes plague, UMDNJ has no reason to believe that this situation poses a risk to the safety or health of UMDNJ staff or the community at large," the university said in its prepared statement.

University spokesman Jerry Carey said he did not know why UMDNJ waited seven weeks to disclose the missing mice...

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