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75 CDC Workers Accidentally Exposed to Anthrax

Anthrax bacteria that were not properly inactivated were moved to a lab with lesser biosafety measures, the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions says.

Anthrax bacteria that were not properly inactivated were moved to a lab with lesser biosafety measures, the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions says. File|Patch
Anthrax bacteria that were not properly inactivated were moved to a lab with lesser biosafety measures, the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions says. File|Patch

About 75 workers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may have been accidentally exposed to anthrax bacteria because of a safety problem in a lab, WSB TV reports citing an Associated Press story. 

Agency officials said the staff members are being monitored or given antibiotics as a precaution against exposure to the disease-causing bacteria.

When anthrax spores get inside the body, they can be “activated,” according to the CDC website. When they become active, the bacteria can multiply, spread out in the body, produce poisons, and cause severe illness.

The problem was discovered last Friday, when live anthrax bacteria were found on some materials being gathered for disposal, the AP says.

There is no risk of exposure for other CDC staff, family members or the general public, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says.

A statement from the agency says the exposure occurred when bacteria samples that were not completely inactivated were moved to a lower level biosafety lab not designed to handle such samples. Assuming the samples were inactive, workers didn’t wear adequate safety gear while handling them, the CDC says.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials plan to review safety protocol with all employees. Because the agency’s own protocols were not followed, disciplinary action will be taken if warranted.

SUNKEN SUB June 19, 2014 at 06:26 PM
* UP SCOPE ============================================ Where are the Bio safety Inspectors you hired a few years ago ? Constella and the I-85 @ North Druid Hills gang answer up. ============================================ Former inspector ============================================ Down Scope
Lone Stranger June 20, 2014 at 08:53 AM
I kinda get the whole "Sunken Sub" thingie but then again I dont. Can you explain that please? This whole CDC is looking like a den of lunatics. The sex scandal and now this. Plus about 10 other problems. Typical government organization.
crrazytimes June 20, 2014 at 10:10 AM
well you have to be kinda crazy to want to work around the most deadly virus's in human history. As for the sex scandal, you cant judge the nearly 30,000 employees based on what 2 employees did. Also, there are bound to be mistakes, there is no way around that in any job, no matter the safe guards. only difference is a tiny mistake there can kill thousands.
twin oakley June 20, 2014 at 10:10 AM
This is the part that scares me: "... live anthrax bacteria were found on some materials being gathered for disposal". Disposal where? Are we ALL at risk? This is a dangerous combination of incompetence and a lack of accountability. Watch as no heads roll and no lessons are learned.
twin oakley June 20, 2014 at 06:05 PM
Obviously? I think not. If one 'protocol' was missed, certainly a second can be missed as well.

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