Anthrax Exposure: CDC Increases Count to 84

Anthrax Exposure: CDC Increases Count to 84

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has informed that the number of government workers who might have been exposed to live anthrax could be as high as 84. The earlier estimates suggested that nearly 75 staff members at three laboratories in Atlanta were accidentally exposed to live anthrax.

In an official statement, CDC press officer Benjamin Haynes informed that 32 staff members were taking antibiotic ciprofloxacin treatment while 20 were taking doxycycline.

So far, no illness has been reported among the staff under threat. CDC also informed that 27 government workers underwent vaccination against anthrax infection. CDC expects more people to add to the list as the co-workers of those under threat might get the news.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will hand over the investigations to CDC. The CDC official statement added that the risk of infection is very low. A specialized team of experts is already checking for the reasons for the serious security lapse.

CDC spokesman Tom Skinner added that the number of people under threat could increase as more people come forward.

Dr. Paul Meechan, director of the CDC's environmental health and safety compliance office was among the first officials from the agency to announce the security lapse. Dr. Meechan informed that the CDC’s Bioterror Rapid Response and Advanced Technology laboratory had sent live anthrax bacteria wrongly in place of harmless samples of bacteria. The samples were sent to two security laboratories of the agency.

Anthrax spores can cause internal bleeding, swelling and serious health issues. The bacteria, once inhaled, can take up to six days to show symptoms. If the treatment does not commence at the right time, the infection can prove fatal.


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