CDC Bioterror Lab Says Live Anthrax Sent Worldwide Was Used For Biological Threats Diagnostic

CDC Bioterror Lab Says Live Anthrax Sent Worldwide Was Used For Biological Threats Diagnostic
Anthrax infection Kat Masback / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) bioterror lab regulators are working closely with the Pentagon in order to detect whether the Utah U.S. Army lab that mistakenly sent live Anthrax sample in different labs across the states has violated protocol.


The labs identified to have received the live Anthrax samples are located in California, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, new York, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

The samples were also sent to laboratories in Canada, South Korea and Australia.

Live Anthrax sent from U.S. Army lab performing biological threats diagnostic test

The CDC said that the live anthrax was sent from U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah, a lab working as part of the government’s effort to develop a new diagnostic test to identify biological threats. The lab said it was able to grow live Bacillus anthracis which it inadvertently sent across states and Canada, South Korea and Australia.

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“CDC is investigating the unintentional transfer of anthrax from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to labs in multiple states and overseas. At this time we do not suspect any risk to the general public,” the CDC said in a statement.

Labs may have handled the inactivation procedures with negligence

The U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah may have neglected the protocol in terms of killing anthrax spores, a CDC official wrote in an email to government officials.

“We have concern that the inactivation procedures, when followed properly, are inadequate to kill all spores, and the U.S. government is developing an approach to securing such possible samples from misuse,” wrote Daniel Sosin, deputy director of CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response as per USA TODAY.

Pentagon downplays risk of live anthrax

The Department of Defense said in a statement that the accidental shipment of the live anthrax samples posed no risk to the general public.

“There is no known risk to the general public and an extremely low risk to lab workers from the department’s inadvertent shipments of inactivated samples containing small numbers of live anthrax to several laboratories, according to the release,” DOD said in a statement.

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