Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Rare bacteria thought to be lab researcher’s cause of death

May 4, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Lab workers at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center will be urged to get vaccinations for the diseases they study, as investigators look in to one researcher''s death, according to the Huffington Post.

Despite the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention''s (CDC) recommendations, researcher Richard Din was not vaccinated against meningitis, the article stated.

According to the article, VA officials say a vaccine may not have protected the 25-year-old researcher, as he was working to develop a vaccine for a strain of meningitis that is resistant to vaccine.

It is not clear how Din became exposed to the bacteria because he is described as having a safe, by-the-book reputation, the article noted.

"He was an excellent lab worker and very fastidious," said Harry Lampiris, chief of infectious disease at the San Francisco VA research institute.

Lampiris also said there were no signs of spills or mechanical failure in the lab where Din worked, which was decontaminated and temporarily closed pending investigations, the article added.

Officials with the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have opened a joint investigation about Din''s death, the article concluded.

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