The cold storage in Bethesda, where several sealed vials with smallpox were discovered last month, also had over 300 vials likely containing pathogens like dengue, influenza and rickettsia, it was revealed.
The 327 vials were stored at a the National Institutes of Health stashed in 12 boxes in a corner of a cold storage room, the Food and Drug Administration reported Wednesday. The FDA believes the collection of pathogens was assembled between 1946 and 1964 by government scientists. The administration has been using the facility since 1972.
“The fact that these materials were not discovered until now is unacceptable,” Karen Midthun, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), told reporters. “We take this matter very seriously, and we’re working to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”