NIH to hold meeting on BU's National Emerging Infectious Diseases lab

The National Institutes of Health will hold a public meeting on April 19 for the discussion of Boston University Medical Center's new National Emerging Infectious Diseases laboratories.

The NIH released a 1,700 page draft supplementary risk assessment and a 23 page reader's guide to help the public to understand the scientific information held within the complete document. The assessment focuses on 13 pathogens that are anticipated to be studied at the lab, the Daily Free Press reports.

"We are pleased that this stage of the draft supplementary risk assessment is completed," Ellen Berlin, a BU spokesperson, said, according to the Daily Free Press. "The National Institutes of Health and the Blue Ribbon Panel have worked diligently to develop a thorough and comprehensive analysis."

The pathogens included in the assessment include SARS, the plague, Ebola, encephalitis and anthrax. Berlin said that the National Research Council has reviewed and approved the methodology of the assessment.

"While there is no such thing as 'no risk,' the results of this analysis show that the risk of infections or deaths resulting from accidents or malevolent acts at the NEIDL are generally very low to only remotely possible," the reader's guide said, according to the Daily Free Press.

The assessment concluded that the lab poses little danger to the public.

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National Institutes of Health

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