Officials are trying to get to the bottom of how vaccine manufacturer Baxter International Inc. made “experimental virus material” based on a human flu strain but contaminated with the H5N1 avian flu virus and then distributed it to an Austrian company.
… Accidental release of a mixture of live H5N1 and H3N2 viruses – if that indeed happened – could have resulted in dire consequences.
… Baxter International, which is based in Deerfield, Ill., said the contamination was the result of an error in its research facility in Orth-Donau, Austria.
… People familiar with biosecurity rules are dismayed by evidence that human H3N2 and avian H5N1 viruses have somehow co-mingled in the Baxter research facility. That should not be allowed to happen, a number of experts insisted.