CDC Issues Tough Report on Anthrax Scare
Agency places moratorium on transfer of dangerous germs from its high-level labs
FRIDAY, July 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. health officials have concluded that it's highly unlikely any lab workers were exposed to live anthrax during a safety mishap last month. But, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials have announced a moratorium on the transfer of any dangerous germs or materials from high-level government labs.
In a report issued Friday, the CDC outlined several measures the agency will take to make sure a similar incident doesn't occur again. Last month, as many as 75 workers were potentially exposed to anthrax because safety procedures weren't followed.
Other actions the CDC plans to take include creating independent review groups that will find ways to speed up improvements to lab safety. Also, "appropriate personnel action will be taken with respect to individuals who contributed to or were in a position to prevent" the anthrax episode, the agency said in a statement.
"The report released today concludes that the scientists' failure to follow an approved, written study plan that met all laboratory safety requirements led to dozens of employees being potentially exposed," CDC officials said in the statement. "There was a lack of standard operating procedures to document when biological agents are properly inactivated in laboratories as well as a lack of adequate laboratory oversight of scientists performing work in these labs," they added.