America’s Only Foreign Animal Disease Laboratory

About the size of Central Park and a few miles off the coast of Long Island, Plum Island houses the nation’s only laboratory that is capable of conducting live research of foot-and-mouth disease, a highly contagious animal disease that hasn’t struck the US with an outbreak since 1929. Because of this, visitors are strictly forbidden unless they’ve received security protocol from the Department of Homeland Security. The lab’s very location on an island was intentional when it was built in 1954: so nothing reaches its shore, and nothing leaves.

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