While trying to downplay the risk of infection, the CDC admitted last week that as many as 84 employees might have been exposed to Anthrax in its Atlanta bioterrorism lab. This from the agency dedicated to “Health, Safety and Security Threats”.
The lapses was discovered on June 13 when plates of samples that were supposed to have been inactive, were found instead to have live bacteria on them. The sample plates were about to be disposed on when the live samples were found.
Investigating, the CDC found that the procedure they had used to supposedly render the Anthrax inactive was not as effective as it was supposed to be. The supposedly inactive samples were being used to try to find new ways of detecting the dangerous pathogen in real life situations where Anthrax might be present.
Because the samples were supposed to be inactive workers handling them were not wearing the protective equipment they normally would be wearing had they realized the samples were, in fact, active.