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Centers For Disease Control Lets Smallpox And Rinderpest Viruses Out For Daily Hour Of Exercise

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ATLANTA—Citing efforts to ensure even the deadliest of microbes are contained in humane conditions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters Wednesday it lets the smallpox and rinderpest viruses outside its High-Containment Facility once daily for an hour of exercise. “We allow them to get some fresh air and move around a little each day because they get pretty cooped up inside our biosafety level-4 unit,” said Inger Damon, director of the agency’s Division of High-Consequence Pathogens, which is also home to some of the world’s most dangerous hemorrhagic fevers and influenza strains. “With all the time smallpox and rinderpest spend confined to a test tube, it’s good for them to be able to spread out and blow off some steam, whether that means running laps, lifting weights, or joining a pickup basketball game against bird flu and anthrax. Of course, they know that if they attempt to leave the grounds of our Atlanta campus, guards in the towers are authorized to neutralize them with a can of Lysol.” At press time, alarm bells were ringing at CDC headquarters after smallpox and rinderpest had reportedly escaped in a laundry cart full of soiled hazmat suits.