Live Anthrax Inadvertently Shipped From Dugway Research Lab

Live Anthrax Inadvertently Shipped
Photo Courtesy: fineartamerica.com

Live Anthrax Inadvertently Shipped From Dugway Research Lab

Photo Courtesy: fineartamerica.com

DUGWAY, UTAH – May 27, 2015 – (Gephardt Daily) — The U.S. Military lab at the Dugway, Utah Army Facility inadvertently shipped live anthrax samples to an outside lab which prompting an urgent investigation to see if any other live anthrax samples were sent off base.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it is investigating the incident though they don’t believe the public is at any risk.

The name of the lab that received the live anthrax sample has not been disclosed.

Any sample of anthrax which is sent out of a facility is supposed to be killed before it is shipped.

Jason McDonald of the CDC sent a statement saying:

CDC is investigating the possible inadvertent transfer of a select agent from the U. S. Department of Defense (DOD) to labs in nine states. At this time we do not suspect any risk to the general public.

The CDC investigation was started after a request for technical consultation 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. Although an inactivated agent was expected, the lab reported they were able to grow live Bacillus anthracis.

CDC is working in conjunction with state and federal partners to conduct an investigation with all the labs that received samples from the DOD.  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.  

All samples involved in the investigation will be securely transferred to CDC or Laboratory Response Network (LRN) laboratories for further testing.   CDC has sent officials from the CDC Federal Select Agent Program to the DOD labs to conduct onsite investigations. 

Updates will be provided as the investigation continues.

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