Second probe details more CDC anthrax lab problems - WBAY

Second probe details more CDC anthrax lab problems

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • Arizona execution renews debate over methods

    Arizona execution renews debate over methods

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:55 PM EDT2014-07-26 16:55:14 GMT
    A third execution by lethal injection has gone awry in six months, renewing debate over whether there is a foolproof way for the government to humanely kill condemned criminals, and whether it's even worth...More >>
    A third execution by lethal injection has gone awry in six months, renewing debate over whether there is a foolproof way for the government to humanely kill condemned criminals, and whether it's even worth looking for...More >>
  • Carjackers on run after crash that killed 3 kids

    Carjackers on run after crash that killed 3 kids

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:46 PM EDT2014-07-26 16:46:29 GMT
    Police are searching for two men who carjacked an SUV and plowed into a group of children and adults selling fruit at a Philadelphia street corner, killing three kids and seriously injuring two women.More >>
    Two carjackers who fled after ramming a stolen SUV into a family selling fruit for their church, killing three young siblings, were still on the run Saturday as the reward for their capture topped $100,000.More >>
  • Gifts-for-favors trial set for ex-governor, wife

    Gifts-for-favors trial set for ex-governor, wife

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:25 PM EDT2014-07-26 16:25:52 GMT
    Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, his reputation already tarnished and his political future destroyed by a gifts-for-favors scandal, faces the possibility of an even greater loss when his trial on federal...More >>
    Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, his reputation already tarnished and his political future destroyed by a gifts-for-favors scandal, faces the possibility of an even greater loss when his trial on federal corruption...More >>
By MIKE STOBBE
AP Medical Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - A second investigation has detailed additional safety problems at federal health laboratories in Atlanta, including the use of expired disinfectants and the transfer of dangerous germs in Ziploc bags.

The new findings were disclosed Monday in a congressional committee's summary of a U.S. Department of Agriculture report on the CDC anthrax incident.

The USDA report focuses on an incident last month at a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab that handles bioterrorism agents. The lab was supposed to completely kill anthrax samples before sending them to two other CDC labs. But the higher-security lab did not completely sterilize the bacteria.

Dozens of CDC workers were potentially exposed to dangerous anthrax bacteria. No one got sick, but a CDC internal investigation report released last week found serious safety lapses, including use of unapproved sterilization techniques and use of a potent anthrax in an experiment that didn't require that germ to be used.

Separate from the CDC probe, investigators from the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services came to the CDC to look into what happened.

A USDA spokeswoman said her agency does not release its reports to the public. The CDC did not immediately release the report, either. But the findings were summarized in a report released by a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee, which is holding a hearing Wednesday on recent reports of CDC lab problems.

According to the congressional memo, the USDA found:

-Disinfectants used for decontamination of vials and bags had expired, and CDC staff couldn't remember if they used the expired products in cleaning up after the anthrax incident.

-At least some of the lab workers who were potentially exposed were not examined until five days later.

-Security measures within the lab building were flawed. Anthrax was stored in unlocked refrigerators in an unrestricted hallway. The key to one refrigerator sat in its lock.

-Germ materials were transferred between labs in two Ziploc bags, failing to meet containment guidelines.

A CDC spokesman said the agency is "carefully scrutinizing" the report.

"Some findings are already being addressed, and others will be addressed as soon as possible," said the spokesman, Tom Skinner.

"We'll do anything that's going to make our safety processes and procedures even better," he added.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by WorldNow

115 S. Jefferson St. Green Bay, WI  54301

Telephone: 920.432.3331
Fax: 920.438.3355
Email: wbay@wbay.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Green Bay, Inc. A Media General Company.