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Updated 23 June 2014

Lab safety problem in US causes health scare

US workers getting antibiotics, vaccines after potential exposure to anthrax.

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The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says at least 52 workers are taking antibiotics as a precaution because of a lab safety problem that may have accidentally exposed them to anthrax.

So far, the CDC's occupational health clinic has seen 54 out of 86 potentially exposed employees. Only two have refused antibiotic treatment, which can cut the chances of infection after exposure to the germ. The CDC says 27 of them also began receiving an anthrax vaccine.

The safety lapse occurred when a high-level biosecurity lab failed to completely inactivate anthrax samples sent to less secure labs for further research. The problem was discovered last Friday, and the CDC revealed it on Thursday.

Read more:
Vulnerability to anthrax varies
Potent anthrax inhibitor found

 
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