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Over 80 Anthrax Exposures at CDC After Safety Breach — Public Not at Risk — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
June 23, 2014

Over 80 Anthrax Exposures at CDC After Safety Breach — Public Not at Risk

By Joe Elia

Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD, and Jaye Elizabeth Hefner, MD

The exposure of 84 workers to live anthrax at the CDC was caused by what Reuters reports as a "pivotal lapse in procedure."

Workers who were trying to kill samples of the bacteria declared too soon that the sample containers had been sterilized. Instead of waiting for a protocol-specified 48 hours to check for signs of bacterial growth, the workers only waited for 24.

Reuters says that no one has fallen ill, and that "dozens" have received a vaccine and antibiotics in an attempt to forestall infection.

The Washington Post offers a reassuring video of an Emory University epidemiologist saying the public is not at risk, because anthrax is spread by spores or by animal-to-human contact. Even those suffering inhalational anthrax do not create infectious aerosols when they cough.

Reader Comments (1)

Syamsa Latief Latief Physician, Epidemiology/Statistics, Hasanuddin University, Faculty of Medicine

Anthrax disease is still as major threat to human and animals well being.

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