No announcement yet.

Taiwan: Work-related COVID-19 infection in fully vaccinated ( with Moderna), mouse-bitten researcher; 85 were quarantined

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • sharon sanders
    bump this

    Leave a comment:

  • Emily
    Taiwan’s science academy fined for biosafety lapses after lab worker contracts COVID-19
    A research assistant at an Academia Sinica lab fell ill in November 2021 after working with infected animalsTAIPEI, TAIWAN—Academia Sinica, Taiwan’s most prominent academic institution, has been ordered to pay a fine for biosafety lapses after a research assistant at its Genomics Research Center contracted COVID-19 on the job in late 2021.

    Health minister Chen Shih-chung, who also heads Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), announced during a 20 January press conference that the academy will be fined 150,000 New Taiwan dollars ($5400) for the incident, apparently the world’s first documented infection with the pandemic coronavirus in a research lab. The case suggests oversight at the lab was “not stringent enough,” says Michael Lai, a virologist at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Molecular Biology. The infected worker left the lab shortly before she tested positive, as did her supervisor.

    According to CECC, the lab staff member—who was in her 20s and fully vaccinated—began to display COVID-19 symptoms on 26 November 2021 and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. Taiwan did not have confirmed locally transmitted cases at the time, and an investigation strongly suggested the infection occurred at the lab, which works on COVID-19 vaccine and drug development. The assistant had handled infected animals, and the sequence of her virus matched that of a Delta variant strain supplied to the lab by the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control, but not those of Delta strains found in the community in the preceding months. The woman’s condition was improving by 9 December, when CECC announced the case, and 110 close contacts and 373 others with a connection to the case all tested negative...

    Leave a comment:

  • sharon sanders
    bump this

    Leave a comment:

  • Emily
    commented on 's reply
    It's so refreshing to see how open and diligent Taiwan is in dealing with lab safety issues. I hope when we get a new NIH director soon in the US that we'll see improvements here. I'm not holding my breath, though.

  • Shiloh

    Taiwan lists 3 possible ways COVID lab infection occurred
    Academia Sinica cites inhalation, contaminated gloves, early removal of mask as three possible routes of COVID infection
    By Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
    2021/12/20 16:49

    TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Monday (Dec. 20) released the results of a report by Academia Sinica listing three possible routes by which a research assistant might have been infected with COVID in the lab.

    On Dec. 11, the CECC verified that an assistant researcher, case No. 16,816, had contracted COVID while working in a P3 (Biosafety Level-3) facility. The laboratory is located inside Academia Sinica's Genomics Research Center (GRC), which is situated in Taipei's Nangang District.

    During a press conference on Monday, CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced the results of a report on the laboratory-acquired infection (LAI) released by the Academia Sinica on Sunday (Dec. 19). The report describes the incident, contingency measures, infection route investigation, overall investigation results and analysis of the root cause, assessment of responsibility, and planned future improvements.

    A review of personnel interviews, surveillance camera footage from mid-to-late November, and laboratory use logs resulted in the identification of the following three risk factors:

    Environmental pollution exists in both the experimental operation area and the non-operation area.
    When operating on experimental animals, it was not carried out in a biosafety cabinet. Dirty bedding was directly placed in an unsealed bag and was not placed in a container with a lid.
    The case and other laboratory personnel performed experiments with only general protective equipment.
    The worker did not wear N95 masks, double gloves, goggles, or face shields.
    The case took off the mask first during the process of removing protective equipment.

    Based on the above-listed infection exposure risk factors, the institute has determined that there were three possible routes of infection:

    Direct inhalation into respiratory tract.
    The case directly inhaled the virus from contaminated dust from bedding or infected animals were stimulated to spray droplets or aerosol.
    Surface of gloves contaminated when mantling animals.
    When the mask was accidentally taken off first during the process of removing protective equipment, the case may have inadvertently touched her face, mouth, nose, and other body parts.
    Outer layer of protective equipment contaminated by objects with the virus in operating area.
    When the mask was accidentally taken off first during the process of removing protective equipment, the case's mouth and nose were exposed to the virus...

    Leave a comment:

  • Emily
    Scientist bitten by mouse in Taipei lab before testing positive for COVID
    CECC confirms scientist bitten by lab mouse while experimenting on different COVID variants

    By Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
    2021/12/10 01:36

    Chang stressed that the consensus from the first meeting was that a mouse bite had occurred. He pointed out that the lab not only contained samples of the Alpha variant, but other variants were present as well.

    According to Chang, she has tested positive for COVID on PCR tests, with low Ct values of 15 and 23, indicating a new infection. Chen said that she had resigned from her position in early December, but the reason for her stepping down is still under investigation.

    Philip Lo (羅一鈞), deputy head of the CECC’s medical response division, said that she had received two doses of the Moderna vaccine, one on June 28 and one on July 26, making her a breakthrough case. She has also been confirmed to have contracted the Delta variant of the virus.

    Leave a comment:

  • Emily
    Machine translation
    The high amount of PCR-positive virus in the P3 laboratory of the Academia Sinica has reached Shuangbei [Update]

    2021/12/9 18:05 (Updated on 12/9 22:03)
    The command center pointed out that the case had been coughing for a week, and it was not until the 8th that he had an abnormal sense of smell and taste and took the initiative to seek medical attention. The preliminary study concluded that the work site was contaminated and infected. Zhang Shangchun, the convener of the command center expert advisory group, has urgently entered the scene to command. Also began to list.

    A person familiar with the matter who did not want to be named due to the sensitivity revealed that the case was working in the laboratory of the Academia Sinica. A few days ago, because of suspected symptoms, he felt uneasy and went to a doctor for examination. Unexpectedly, he tested positive for PCR and had a Ct value of less than 20. , Which means that the amount of virus is quite high, and it is judged to be an acute infection.
    The person familiar with the matter pointed out that the case has travelled throughout Taipei City and New Taipei City and has fully grasped the footprints. However, because the case has no recent history of going abroad, it is preliminary speculated that he may have been infected in the laboratory. The central government has sent a team of experts to command. The situation in the laboratory remains to be seen. Further investigation.
    People familiar with the matter speculate that because the case is in the acute infection period and has a wide range of footprints, the number of people listed and isolated may exceed 50. At present, a quick screening station has been set up in the Zhongxiao District of Beicheng United Hospital, and the hospital will assist in contact inspection.
    The person familiar with the matter also said that considering that this time it is likely to be a laboratory infection, it is not clear what virus is causing the infection. Therefore, the "worst plan and the most stringent treatment" will be adopted. The first lap contacts must be screened as soon as possible and high-standard isolation , Even if the protection status is good in the second circle, it is recommended to take inspection and independent health management. (Edit: Zhang Zhixuan) 1101209...

    The commander of the Central Epidemic Command Center Chen Shizhong (2 from right) and spokesperson Zhuang Renxiang (right) inspected the operation of the vaccination station at Banqiao Railway Station in New Taipei City on the 9th. During the interview, Chen Shizhong confirmed that he had received suspected contamination of the workplace and infected COVID- 19 cases are undergoing re-examination, if confirmed, they will be classified as local cases. Central News Agency reporter Wang Tengyi photo December 9, 110

    Leave a comment:

  • Taiwan: Work-related COVID-19 infection in fully vaccinated ( with Moderna), mouse-bitten researcher; 85 were quarantined

    Note that Taiwan is being fully transparent about the accident. Alina Chan reports this is a BSL-3 lab.
    Machine translation. Hat tip:

    One newly confirmed local case of COVID-19 has been added, and the health unit has initiated epidemic investigation and prevention measures
    Release Date: 2021-12-09
    The Central Epidemic Command Center announced today (9) a new domestic confirmed case of COVID-19 (Case 16816), a female in her 20s who was a
    . No entry and exit records, 2 doses of Modena vaccine have been vaccinated. The case had been exposed to the pathogen during work in mid-November and was asymptomatic at the moment; a slight cough began on November 26, coughing intensified on December 4, and abnormal smell and taste on December 8. After medical examination, today Confirmed.

    The command center explained that in response to this local confirmed case, the command center has initially listed a total of 85 relevant contacts. All of them have been placed in a centralized quarantine station for isolation and inspection. One of them is negative, and the remaining contacts continue to be listed. The command center further explained that after receiving the notification from the hospital, it immediately arranged the disease control physicians and colleagues to the laboratory to conduct investigations. At the same time, the expert advisory group Zhang Shangchun convened to guide and convene a meeting to address the epidemic and preventive measures. Discussion and measures include:
    1. The laboratory to which the case belongs was suspended, and all personnel on the same floor were isolated at home.
    2. Read the laboratory entry and exit records and video tapes to grasp possible contacts and understand the operation situation.
    3. All the staff in the laboratory stopped working on December 10, and self-monitored their health from the 9th, and contact the health unit immediately if they feel unwell.
    4. The Academia Sinica is required to submit an investigation and review report within 10 days, and the command center will send an investigation team of biosafety experts to the laboratory for investigation.

    The command center further pointed out that in accordance with the "New Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines" set by the center, laboratories are required to implement and check relevant regulations, and also remind relevant personnel to pay attention to the following matters , To ensure their own safety:
    1. The staff of relevant laboratories engaged in SARS-CoV-2 inspection and research should implement health monitoring.
    2. If laboratory staff have symptoms of suspected infection, they should take the initiative to notify the laboratory supervisor and seek medical evaluation as soon as possible, and take the initiative to inform the physician of the relevant exposure risks when seeking medical attention.
    3. The laboratories involved in the operation of SARS-CoV-2 inspection and research should complete the COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible.
    4. The biosafety committee of each establishment shall implement the health monitoring and management of laboratory staff.
    Last edited by Emily; December 9, 2021, 08:55 PM.