Dozens of CDC Workers Taking Anti-Anthrax Drugs

Friday, 20 Jun 2014 04:10 PM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
At least 52 workers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are taking antibiotics as a precaution because of a lab safety problem that may have accidentally exposed them to anthrax.
 
The federal agency on Friday raised its estimate of potentially affected workers from 75 to 86, and said the number could rise again as additional workers such as janitors and support staff come forward.

So far, the CDC's occupational health clinic has seen 54 out of 86 potentially exposed employees. Only two have refused antibiotic treatment, which can cut the chances of infection after exposure to the germ. The CDC says 27 of them also began receiving an anthrax vaccine. The others declined or are still considering the vaccine.

The safety lapse was discovered last Friday and CDC revealed it on Thursday. It occurred when a high level biosecurity lab failed to completely inactivate anthrax samples sent to three less secure labs that were researching new ways to detect the germs in environmental samples.

Workers in the less secure labs were not wearing adequate protective gear because they believed the samples had been inactivated. Procedures in two of the labs may have spread anthrax spores in the air. Anthrax is particularly dangerous when inhaled.

Live bacteria were discovered last Friday on materials gathered for disposal, and the CDC began sending emails to potentially affected employees that day, said agency spokesman Tom Skinner.

Top managers at the CDC held a staff meeting Friday morning attended by hundreds of workers, some of whom felt the agency should have communicated with them more fully, Skinner said.

"That's something that management took to heart," and CDC is making every effort to find and notify anyone who may have been exposed, he said.

Anthrax created fear in 2001, when five people died and 17 others were sickened from letters containing anthrax spores sent through the mail. The FBI blames the attacks on a lone government scientist, Bruce Ivins, who committed suicide.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Diagnose Your Kid's Ear Infection With Your iPhone

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 16:15 PM

Diagnosing your kid's ear infections might soon be as simple as taking a video on your smartphone. . . .

Revlon Removing Some Dangerous Chemicals From Cosmetics

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 16:11 PM

Revlon announced that it will no longer use two chemical ingredients in its products, responding to a consumer petition  . . .

New Ovarian Cancer Drug Gets FDA OK

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 15:48 PM

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug to treat advanced ovarian cancer, along with a test to ide . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved