SHIKAR, UD’HAR (FRARIE VII) – An entire wing at one of the Ud’Har colony’s largest pharmaceutical research facility remains under quarantine this morning after a viral agent being studied for the development of a new vaccine escaped confinement.

Dr. Yarri Arasaratnam, director of the Gridharan Medical Research facility, spoke with reporters in a press conference this morning. Arasaratnam said approximately 30 employees had come into contact with the virus and are now being treated. He declined to comment on the prognosis of the patients.

“Let’s not forgot that this facility is known throughout New Eden for its breakthroughs in the treatment of biological pathogens,” Arasaratnam said. “If I were sick, this is exactly the place I’d want to be taken.”

Arasaratnam denied rumors that employees were still locked inside the laboratories. He said family members of employees who have not heard from their loved ones can leave messages with the facility’s human resources department and they will be relayed to the infirmary.

“Unfortunately, the virus is very debilitating and many of those undergoing treatment are unable to speak,” Arasaratnam said. “When they have had a chance to recover, we will immediately put them in contact with their families.”

According to Arasaratnam the viral agent in question is a mutant variant of an influenza strain that primarily affects lower primates of the Kapda colony. Reported cases of the mutated virus infected people led Kapdan officials to commission GMR to develop a vaccine.

Because the Kapdan cases of human infection happened in isolated areas there is little information available.

According to one report from a Kapdan medical volunteer who responded to the outbreak, those infected with the virus deteriorate rapidly, suffering hemorrhaging from the eyes, nose and mouth. The report goes on to say that the virus also causes necrosis of skin tissue and is accompanied by a high fever that damages portions of the victims’ brains, sending them into fits of violent and homicidal rage.

The report was accompanied by a single photographic image, supposedly showing a group of infected individuals.

The identity of the eyewitness was not revealed and official sources have called the story and photo “gross exaggerations.”

Regardless of the stories, Arasaratnam has given his assurance that the GMR facility’s secondary confinement system is in place and there no additional risk to those living in the vicinity of the facility.