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Bird flu lab a maximum security prison

Written by: Staff

Bhopal, Feb 23 (UNI) The High-Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HADL) here, which confirmed presence of H5N1 virus in samples of birds following mass poultry deaths in Maharashtra's Nandurbar district, is akin to a maximum security prison.

The laboratory, which started to function in 2000, has most stringent precautions in place to reduce the possibility of disease organism from escaping.

A biosafety level 4 facility, the laboratory boasts of being one of just 10 such high security disease facilities in the world and the only one in Asia.

According to experts, disease agents are carried via four avenues -man, object, water or air.

The air in the laboratory is kept under negative pressure so that it flows in the direction of laboratory even if the doors were accidentally unsealed.

Similarly, water and air discharged outside the laboratory is heated at a temperature of 120 degree centigrade for half an hour.

Scientists are required to take shower in special chamber and change into fresh clothes before entering the laboratory area. The same procedure needs to be followed while on the way out.

A floor above the laboratory contains several huge machines that suck air out of the rooms and then pump it back at the right pressure.

Backup facility ensure power to the machines within 30 seconds in event of a power outage.


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