(CBS NEWS) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says approximately 75 staff working in government laboratories in Atlanta may have been exposed to live anthrax and are being monitored and evaluated for infection.
The exposure is suspected to have occurred when CDC researchers failed to follow appropriate protocol while transferring the bacteria from a high-security laboratory in Atlanta to a lower security CDC lab, which wasn't equipped to handle live anthrax.
"Out of an abundance of caution, CDC is taking aggressive steps to protect the health of all involved, including protective courses of antibiotics for potentially exposed staff," the agency said in a statement. "Based on most of the potential exposure scenarios, the risk of infection is very low."
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