France Lost Thousands of Vials Containing the SARS Virus

Somebody's definitely getting fired, after over 2,300 vials containing fragments of the deadly SARS virus went missing from the Pasteur Institute in France earlier this week. Not one or two vials, mind you. Thousands of them.

Don't worry. Everything's going to be okay. Despite the fact that the vials of SARS were stored in a high security lab, the Pasteur Institute says the samples have "no infectious potential." Independent experts thankfully agree, saying the risk of infection is "nil."

That's not really the point, though, is it? After it was discovered in 2002, SARS infected over 8,000 people and killed 775. Maybe the Pasteur Institute ought to keep a closer eye on this virus, right? Where are its samples of ebola? Is the bubonic plague going to show up missing next week? What about all the horrible infectious diseases we don't even know about? You saw Contagion. This sort of thing is dangerous!

The Pasteur Institute looked really hard for the missing deadly viruses. They really did. "We looked for the boxes everywhere," Christian Bréchot, director general of the institute told Le Monde. "We went through the lists of all the people who have worked here for the past year and a half, including interns. We analysed their profiles to check there was no conflict of interest."

But no luck. Again, nobody's going to die from this mishap. What about the next time, though? [Telegraph via Geekosystem]

Image via AP