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Lab for killer bugs needs $400m upgrade

Just 12 years into its new building, CDC says it's time to look for a new home

The CDC says it's time to look for a new home. Photo: Shutterstock

The CDC says it's time to look for a new home. Photo: Shutterstock

When the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention needed a new laboratory to house deadly diseases at the turn of the century, authorities spared no expense. 

The result, a $214 million building designed by HDR Ltd., opened in 2005 and was meant to serve the CDC for 50 years. It features state-of-the-art security sensors and automated systems designed to lock doors, monitor workers and ensure deadly bugs remain contained. 

But just 12 years into that period - and less than 10 years since the building began to handle killer bugs such as Ebola and smallpox - the CDC says it needs a further $400m to build itself a new home. 

The current lab, the centre argues, is quickly wearing down and cannot be upgraded without shutting down the facility for years. 

Officials have now turned to the US Congress to ask for $50m for the lab and a further $50m for work related to an eventual move. 

 

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