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No CDC Lab Workers Seem Sickened by Anthrax: Report

Breakdown in safety procedures last month led to concerns about possible exposure

TUESDAY, July 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- None of the dozens of staffers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta potentially exposed to anthrax last month has fallen ill, agency officials reported Monday.

The CDC said staffers at three of its laboratories had been provided antibiotics "out of an abundance of caution" following a breakdown in safety procedures, the Associated Press reported. Agency officials said anthrax spores haven't been detected on surfaces in the labs and it's not clear that any anthrax was released into the air, the AP said.

Initial reports indicated that one of the CDC's higher level biosafety labs in Atlanta was preparing the anthrax samples for research in lower level labs. The higher level lab did not adequately inactivate the samples before sending them to the other labs, which aren't equipped to handle live anthrax samples. Workers at the lower level labs, believing the samples were inactivated, weren't wearing proper protective equipment while handling them, the agency said.

The potential exposures were discovered June 13. The CDC said an internal review of the mishap is expected later this week.

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