In July 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that they had detected coronavirus, HIV, hepatitis, and herpes at an unlicensed laboratory in Fresno County, California. The warehouse, located at 850 I Street in Reedley, was reportedly home to lab mice, medical waste, and hazardous materials.
The investigation into the warehouse began in March 2022, after city officials received reports of inhumane treatment of lab mice. When they entered the warehouse, they found hundreds of mice in overcrowded cages, with some of them dead or dying. They also found blood, tissue, and other bodily fluids, as well as thousands of vials of unlabeled fluids and suspected biological material.
The CDC tested the substances found at the warehouse and detected at least 20 potentially infectious agents, including coronavirus, HIV, hepatitis, and herpes. The agency also found that the warehouse was not properly equipped to handle hazardous materials, and that there was a risk of exposure to the public.
The city of Reedley took possession of the animals in April 2022 and euthanized 773 of them; more than 175 were found dead. The remaining mice were placed in foster care.
The CDC is still investigating the warehouse and the people who were associated with it. They are working to determine how the infectious agents were obtained and how they could have been exposed to the public.
The discovery of the unlicensed laboratory in Fresno County is a serious public health concern. It highlights the need for proper oversight of laboratories that work with infectious agents. It also raises questions about the safety of the research being conducted at these labs.
The CDC is urging anyone who may have been exposed to the infectious agents found at the warehouse to contact their healthcare provider.
After several months of investigation, local and federal authorities—including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—announced this week that they have detected infectious agents like coronavirus, HIV, and hepatitis in a Fresno warehouse.
Local and federal authorities spent months investigating a warehouse in Fresno County, California, that they suspect was home to an illegal, unlicensed laboratory full of lab mice, medical waste and hazardous materials.
The Fresno County Public Health Department has been “evaluating and assessing the activities of an unlicensed laboratory” in Reedley, the health department’s assistant director, Joe Prado, said in a statement Thursday. All of the biological agents were destroyed by July 7 following a legal abatement process by the agency.