One of the ways people contract bubonic plague is from infected rodents.
The three missing mice are from a group of 24 mice who have been injected with a bacterium that causes various forms of the plague, including bubonic plague. These mice are part of a massive government project to develop vaccines against biological weapons.
"This is the black death," said Richard Ebright, a microbiologist at Rutgers University. "This is the disease that killed a quarter of Europe's population."...The Public Health Research Institute concedes the missing mice are a problem..."Even though we process 10,000 animals and we can account for nearly all of them, the fact that we couldn't account for three are three too many," said Dr. David Perlin, a researcher at the institute.
Microbiologist Richard Ebright, was also quoted by www.physorg.com:
"Richard Ebright, a Rutgers University microbiologist and a critic of the government's rapid expansion of bio-terrorism labs, said federal guidelines call for only minimal security at such laboratories -- a lock on the lab door and a lock on the sample container and cage.
"You have more security at a McDonald's than at some of these facilities," Ebright told the newspaper."
Federal officials and the lab concede that the animals may have been stolen. The FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating.
These new bio-terror labs have cost us billions. Don't we feel safer?