USAMRIID Fort Detrick-Army Disease Research Lab Shut Down After Failed Inspection

De Faakto Intelligence Research Observatory


SITUATION-United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) Fort Detrick Lab Shut Down After Failed Inspection


BACKGROUND-Fort Detrick laboratory handles high level disease causing material-The laboratory has been ordered to cease operations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


From The Frederick News-Post & USAMRIID Press Statement,

Key Points,

  • All research at a Fort Detrick laboratory has been put on hold indefinitely; the laboratory handles high-level disease-causing material such as Ebola
  • Fort Detrick laboratory failed to meet biosafety standards
  • Inspectors found several areas of concern in standard operating procedures, which are in place to protect workers in biosafety level 3 and 4 laboratories
  • CDC sent a cease and desist order in July
  • The order has effectively halted all biological select agents and toxin research at USAMRIID


What Are the Safety Problems?

  • The suspension was due to multiple causes, including failure to follow local procedures and a lack of periodic recertification training for workers in the biocontainment laboratories
  • The wastewater decontamination system also failed to meet standards


When Will the Laboratory Be Able to Resume Research?

  • USAMRIID will return to fully operational status upon meeting benchmark requirements for biosafety
  • Operations will resume when the Army and the CDC are satisfied that USAMRIID can safely and consistently meet all standards
  • USAMRIID has been working on modified biosafety level 3 procedures and a new decontamination system since flooding in May 2018


What Were USAMRIID Scientists Working On When Ordered to Shut Down?

  • Researchers were working with the Ebola virus in a biosafety level 4 lab

Researchers were also working on agents known to cause,

  • Tularaemia (AKA deer fly or rabbit fever)
  • The plague
  • Venezuelan equine encephalitis
  • All of which were worked on in a biosafety level 3 laboratory



  • Since 1969, USAMRIID has served as the Department of Defense’s (DoD) lead laboratory for medical biological defense research

The core mission is to protect the war fighter from biological threats

  • Investigate disease outbreaks and threats to public health
  • Research conducted at USAMRIID leads to medical solutions—therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics, and information—that benefit both military personnel and civilians
  • USAMRIID is a subordinate laboratory of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command





Frederick News-Post


United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases