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75 CDC Workers May Have Been Exposed to Anthrax

Agency discovers safety lapse, offers treatment just in case
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2014 3:44 PM CDT
75 CDC Workers May Have Been Exposed to Anthrax
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Two anthrax scares are in the news, one far more serious than the other. The bad one comes from the CDC, which says that up 75 of its workers may have been exposed to the deadly bacteria because of a safety lapse, reports the Guardian. Researchers at a high-level biosecurity lab failed to follow protocol to "inactivate" the anthrax before transferring it to other labs. The good news is that none of the workers have shown any symptoms since the lapse was discovered last week, and the "risk of infection is very low," says a spokesman quoted at NBC News.

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The CDC says it monitoring or giving antibiotics to about 75 people "out of an abundance of caution." The less serious case comes from New York City, where the office of NYPD chief Bill Bratton got locked down on Tuesday when an envelope containing white powder showed up. It turned out to be sugar, reports DNA Info, which explains its origins: A woman who thought her roommate was poisoning her mailed the sample to Bratton as evidence. (Read more anthrax stories.)

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