US officials are investigating after the Pentagon mistakenly shipped live anthrax spores to government and commercial laboratories in as many as nine states, as well as one overseas.
They had expected to receive dead spores.
“At this time we do not suspect any risk to the general public,” a spokeswoman for the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said.
The suspected live anthrax samples were shipped from Dugway Proving Ground, an army facility in Utah, using a commercial delivery service, said Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren.
He said one recipient, a laboratory in Maryland, received live spores. It is suspected that anthrax sent to labs in as many as eight other states also contained live spores.
He said an anthrax sample from the same batch at Dugway was also sent to a US military laboratory at Osan air base in South Korea; no personnel there have shown signs of exposure and the sample was destroyed.
“There is no known risk to the general public, and there are no suspected or confirmed cases of anthrax infection in potentially exposed lab workers,” he said.
The anthrax samples were shipped to labs in Texas, Maryland, Wisconsin, Delaware, New Jersey, Tennessee, New York, California, and Virginia.
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