Second probe details more CDC anthrax lab problems - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Second probe details more CDC anthrax lab problems

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • Wine collector set for sentencing on fraud charges

    Wine collector set for sentencing on fraud charges

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:06 AM EDT2014-07-24 10:06:22 GMT
    A California wine collector faces sentencing in New York after he was convicted of making up to $20 million from 2004 to 2012 by selling bogus bottles of wine.More >>
    A California wine collector the government has characterized as a prolific counterfeiter who sold at least $20 million in fake wine faces at least 11 years in prison when he is sentenced Thursday on fraud charges.More >>
  • Slaying of Fla. law professor is a seeming mystery

    Slaying of Fla. law professor is a seeming mystery

    Thursday, July 24 2014 4:32 AM EDT2014-07-24 08:32:44 GMT
    Detectives say Florida State University law school professor Daniel Markel was shot in the head - but won't say whether he was shot from the front or back. They say he was gunned down at his home in broad...More >>
    Detectives say Florida State University law school professor Daniel Markel was shot in the head - but won't say whether he was shot from the front or back. They say he was gunned down at his home in broad daylight -...More >>
  • Alaska tourist train halts runs after derailment

    Alaska tourist train halts runs after derailment

    Thursday, July 24 2014 4:13 AM EDT2014-07-24 08:13:54 GMT
    A vintage rail company that hauls hundreds of thousands of tourists every year along the route of the historic Klondike Gold Rush has suspended operations while it investigates a derailment that injured nine people.More >>
    A vintage rail company that hauls hundreds of thousands of tourists every year along the route of the historic Klondike Gold Rush has suspended operations while it investigates a derailment that injured nine people.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

1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, Ga. 31906

FCC Public File
publicfile@wtvm.com
706-494-5400
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WTVM. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.