Pentagon Sent Live Anthrax to 9 States
A Pentagon lab accidentally shipped live samples of anthrax to private labs in nine states,according ABC News. The shipments, received in the last several days, have prompted an investigation with the CDC to determine if the lethal bacteria was inadvertently sent anywhere else. A senior defense official told The Daily Beast there is no known risk to the general public and no suspected or confirmed cases of anthrax infection in potentially exposed lab workers. The Utah lab that sent the samples was working with the Department of Defense to develop a field-based test to identify biological threats in the environment. “Out of an abundance of caution, DoD has stopped the shipment of this material from its labs pending completion of the investigation,” Department of Defense director of press operations, Col. Steven H. Warren said in a statement.
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Washington (CNN)CNN has learned a lab inadvertently received live anthrax samples from the U..S military in the last several days prompting an across the board urgent review to see if any other live anthrax has been shipped.
The sample came from a military lab at the Dugway, Utah, Army facility, according to two defense officials.
They did not disclose the lab that received the live anthrax, but said it was that lab that reported receiving the live agent sample. Samples are supposed to be rendered dead before they are shipped under a routine research program.
All military, government and commercial labs that may have received samples are now reviewing their inventory of anthrax.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently investigating the incident, in conjunction with the Defense Department, and said they do not suspect any risk to the general public at this time.
“CDC is working in conjunction with state and federal partners to conduct an investigation with all the labs that received samples from the DOD,” Jason McDonald, a CDC spokesman said. “The ongoing investigation includes determining if the labs also received other live samples, epidemiologic consultation, worker safety review, laboratory analysis and handling of laboratory waste.”
A military spokesman confirmed there is currently no known public risk, nor any illnesses reported stemming from the incident.
“The DOD lab was working as part of a DOD effort to develop a field-based test to identify biological threats in the environment,” said Col. Steven H. Warren, a department spokesman. “Out of an abundance of caution, DOD has stopped the shipment of this material from its labs pending completion of the investigation.”
The investigation began after a request from a private commercial lab.
“The lab was working as part of a DOD effort to develop a new diagnostic test to identify biological threats,” McDonald said. “Although an inactivated agent was expected, the lab reported they were able to grow live Bacillus anthracis (anthrax).”
The CDC has sent officials to the military labs to conduct on-site investigations, he said.