Winnipeg’s National Microbiology Laboratory opens doors for rare occasion

Hundreds visit open house at National Microbiology Laboratory.

WINNIPEG – For the first time in five years Winnipeg’s National Microbiology Laboratory opened their doors Saturday to celebrate its 15th anniversary.

Visitors got the rare opportunity to ask scientists questions about their research while they worked in Level 4 labs.

Researchers in those labs work very cautiously with the most deadly diseases, like Ebola.

“We have very good protocols and procedures in place so that it’s done safely and there’s very little risk,” said Michael Drebot, Director of Zoonotic Diseases and Special Pathogens.

As Canada’s leading infectious-disease laboratory it’s tasked with identifying, controlling, and most importantly preventing infectious diseases like Ebola.

“It was the vision of our researchers to conduct those experiments to get to the point where we are that it can be tested and hopefully make an impact on the global outbreak that’s occurring,” said Drebot.

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The lab in Winnipeg has been responsible for creating an experimental Ebola vaccine, testing blood samples for suspected Ebola cases from around the world, and training some mobile teams sent to Africa.

Important work that hundreds of visitors got a chance to learn about along with the lab’s other departments including zoonotics, foreign animal disease, and viral diseases.

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