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National Institutes of Health investigate AZ primate research lab over animal welfare concerns

The National Institutes of Health is investigating a University of Washington primate research facility in Arizona after a Phoenix newspaper reported finding widespread disease.

The Arizona Republic reported Monday the institute’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare confirmed the probe started after the newspaper published a story in October that at least 47 monkeys had died during the past eight years at the facility north of Mesa from Valley fever. That's a flu-like respiratory illness caused by a soil fungus.

The Republic says the illness threatens results of research into human viruses and diseases including AIDS, HIV, hepatitis, Zika, Ebola and COVID-19.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals filed a complaint after the newspaper report.