The Centre was criticized for not immediately informing the community of an incident in June of 1999. What have you done to make sure this won’t happen again?
The Committee is to be notified immediately of all incidents that occur and of the actions taken in response. The Centre now has procedures in place to quickly notify the community of all significant incidents and the Committee will ensure that this is done.
Is my neighbourhood safe now that the CSCHAH has level 4 agents?
An independent safety and environmental services office ensured that all requirements were met in order for the laboratory to be licensed and certified. This office now participates with the biosafety committee, and continues to develop and monitor safety procedures, workplace safety, animal care committees, emergency response plans, and the ongoing testing of the building system equipment.
Why are these foreign dangerous agents being brought to Canada?
In today’s world of increasing international travel, where an infectious agent can be transported from any country to half-way around the globe in 10 hours, it is vital for the well-being and safety of Canadians that we have the diagnostic capability in Canada to quickly identify Level 4 infections.
How are dangerous viruses transported?
The agents are shipped to Winnipeg in accordance with the very stringent Transport Canada transportation of dangerous goods requirements and all hazardous material packing requirements.
The transport of Dangerous Goods require that dangerous materials of this type be contained in a biological safety pack, the design of which, has undergone rigorous and extensive drop and crush testing. The packaging has survived actual plane crashes. The Centre employs all internationally accepted packaging methods that are evaluated by organizations such as the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, IATA and Transport Canada and in fact exceeds Transport Canada’s rigorous standards for shipping infectious agents.
A highly specialized plan was developed in advance of shipment of level 4 agents to Winnipeg and there are teams in every province trained to respond in the event of any type of incident or situation.
If we want to talk to someone at the Lab, who should we contact?
If you would like to reach someone at the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health directly, you can do so by contacting:
Mail: Communications Manager
Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health
1015 Arlington Street
Winnipeg MB R3E 3P6
Phone: (204) 789-5046
Facsimile: (204) 789-5019
Email: Kelly Keith