TUESDAY, Jan. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab technician who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus in an agency laboratory in Atlanta last month did not get sick, agency officials said Tuesday.
The possible exposure occurred Dec. 22 when CDC scientists doing research on Ebola mistakenly transferred a sample of the potentially lethal virus to another CDC lab in the same building. The sample, on a sealed plate, should not have been moved to the second, less secure laboratory, the CDC said in a statement.
Ebola symptoms typically emerge within three weeks of infection, and agency officials said Tuesday that the worker hasn't shown any symptoms since the incident, the Associated Press reported.
There was no risk to the public because the sample never left the building, CDC officials said.
The Ebola virus has been rampant in West Africa since the spring, with nearly 20,750 infections and 8,253 deaths, the World Health Organization reported Tuesday.
Last month's incident at the CDC lab was the latest in a string of handling mishaps by the CDC.
Following a highly publicized incident last summer, federal health officials concluded that it was very unlikely that any CDC lab workers in Atlanta were exposed to live anthrax during a safety mix-up.
CDC labs house some of the most deadly germs in the world, including Ebola, SARS, monkeypox and dangerous flu strains.
For more on the Ebola virus, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.