So if the lost virus isn't something out 28 Days Later, why the fuss? Timing, fear, and speculation, mostly. The timing is convenient, because a report published the morning before the Guanarito vial was announced missing highlighted security and other problems at biodefense labs around the country. The second part is fear: a lost sample of Venezuelan rat virus is nothing to panic about, but what if it had been made into a weapon, or bred for bioterror, or was deliberately stolen, or what if it had been something as deadly as anthrax? There's a lot of potential to spread fear in a story about defense research, biological weapons, and mistakes. Speculating about worse outcomes only compounds that.