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Pentagon Anthrax Mistake: Live Spores Sent to Labs Across US, Overseas

Image: Pentagon Anthrax Mistake: Live Spores Sent to Labs Across US, Overseas
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By    |   Thursday, 28 May 2015 11:15 AM

The Pentagon is in damage control mode after news broke that the U.S. military FedExed live anthrax samples to facilities throughout the world, landing 26 lab employees in post-exposure treatment.

It is believed that 22 lab workers overseas and four in the U.S. were exposed to the live anthrax, CNN reported. The shipments were reportedly thought to be dead and were not subjected to the strict protocols that live ones would have been.

The overseas workers include five active duty Air Force members, 10 active duty Army members, three civilian officials, and four contractors in South Korea, a defense official told CNN.

“There is no known risk to the general public,” Pentagon representative Col. Steve Warren said, according to Fox News, adding that the matter is being investigated.

The shipments in question, part of a "routine" study procedure, were prepared at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, according to Fox. They were then distributed to the Defense Department and marketable labs in nine states between March 2014 and March 2015. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently in the process of rounding up all the shipments.

"These were supposed to be dead spores anthrax, called AG-1," a defense official stated.

However, on May 22, a private lab in Maryland told the CDC it believed the samples that were received contained live anthrax. The CDC then communicated with the Defense Department. The government has since confirmed that the Maryland lab received live spores, according to The Associated Press.

It's not clear whether the nine U.S. states all received live samples, but when asked about it, a defense officials said, “Out of an abundance of caution, it is safe to assume it’s all live.”

According to Fox News, one shipment was also sent to a South Korean base to be used as training for anthrax detection.

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The Pentagon is in damage control mode after news broke that the U.S. military FedExed live anthrax samples to facilities throughout the world, landing 26 lab employees in post-exposure treatment.
pentagon, anthrax, labs, fedex, sent
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2015-15-28
Thursday, 28 May 2015 11:15 AM
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