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Ryan Coleman

By: Ryan Coleman on November 18th, 2013

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BioRisk meets NGO: A Quest for Biosafety

Compliance and Safety | Project Monitoring | international aid | Healthcare


Zerion's iFormBuilder has worked with Non-Gorvenmental Organizations (NGOs) for years now, as well as in the BioRisk industry, offering our formbuilding apps and expertise to educational organizations and NGOs across the world. These two worlds were intertwined in a recent Times article about the Elizabeth R. Griffin Research Foundation.

In 1997, Elizabeth “Beth” Griffin died at the age of 22 after contracting a virus while working as a primate research assistant. At Emory, Griffin she was engaged in behavioral research on hormonal influences in Rhesus Macaques  —  or the Rhesus Monkeys when splashed in the eye while performing annual physicals on 100 monkeys in a research compound.From the article:

"Two weeks after she had been splashed in the eye, Beth was tested for the  Monkey B Virus, or Macacine Herpesvirus 1. Just as she suspected, Beth’s  results came back positive."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this virus is commonly found among macaque monkeys, including rhesus macaques, pig-tailed macaques, and cynomolgus monkeys (also called crab-eating or long-tailed macaques), any of which can harbor latent B virus infection and appear to be natural hosts for the virus. Monkeys infected with B virus usually have no or only mild symptoms. 

Infection with B virus is extremely rare in humans. However, when it does occur, the infection can result in severe neurological impairment or fatal encephalomyelitis if the patient is not treated soon after exposure.

The ensuing illness was initially misdiagnosed, and attended to too late. But the story continues, as Beth's mother took this sad event, and created an organization to help make the world a safer place. As he article reports:

"Still in the midst of their own grief, Caryl says, at the insistence of Beth’s classmates, she and her late husband made a decision to try to change the system. In 1999, the Elizabeth R. Griffin Research Foundation (ERGRF) was established to help prevent further tragedies like Beth’s...  ...Today, the ERGRF continues to grow and supports projects not just in the United States, but also Africa and the Middle East by developing laboratory biosafety and biosecurity as well as occupational health for laboratories in hospitals, public health and research facilities."

Today, Zerion's iFormBuilder apps and forms were utilized in auditing and verifying safety procedures for labs not only in the U.S.A., but in hospitals, labs, and healthcare facilities in third-world countries, where a germ-free environment has been difficult to achieve. Caryl Griffin has brought her message of caution and safety to countries as far as Malaysia. The organization has grown beyond anyone's expectations, and we at iFormBuilder are proud to be a part of the solution in making people's lives better, and safer.

You can read the entire article here >>

Please visit the Elizabeth R. Griffin Research Foundation >>

About Ryan Coleman

Ryan Coleman is the VP of Sales at Zerion and works directly with enterprise deployments around the world. A former resident of San Diego, California, Ryan enjoys sunsets and photographing the coast. If you have any questions about improving your business processes, he would love to hear from you!

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