This sounds like a scary movie so I'll go to the end first...there's no reason to panic.
The World Health Organization says it should have the situation under control by Friday, but here's what happened. A deadly strain of influenza virus was accidentally sent to medical labs in 18 countries around the world.
The College of American Pathologists, an Ohio bio-science company, mistakenly shipped the virus as part of a kit that labs routinely use to test their proficiency. The samples are supposed to be benign.
"And in this case, they didn't know the strain that was being sent out nor did the company, that this was not a benign strain that this was a very deadly strain," says Dr. Sue Bailey, NBC Medical Analyst.
So, now scientists are scrambling to find and destroy more than 3,700 samples at various labs around the world. That's the creepy part. The reality is the WHO says since these samples are sealed, contained and handled by professionals. The risk that this deadly Asian flu strain might escape into the public is extremely remote.
It is the story movies are made of, but in this case, the World Health Organization says it expects to have all the samples accounted for and destroyed by Friday. The CDC also emphasized today there is no threat to public health.