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Pentagon sends live anthrax spores accidentally to nine labs

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US officials accidentally sent live anthrax spores to labs in nine states.

The US military says it accidentally sent live anthrax spores to as many as nine laboratories and is investigating how that happened. 

There was no public threat from the mishap, a Pentagon official claimed on Wednesday.

The labs were supposed to receive dead anthrax samples for research use.

One anthrax sample was also shipped off to a US military base in South Korea, according to the Pentagon. 

Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said the military was working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to retrieve the samples.

According to the Pentagon, samples came from a military lab at Dugway Proving Ground (DPG), Utah, Army facility.

The US government confirmed one shipment actually had live anthrax spores, and said that the eight others also could have.

The live spores were shipped from Utah to labs in Texas, Maryland, Wisconsin, Delaware, New Jersey, Tennessee, New York, California and Virginia.

“The Department of Defense is collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in their investigation of the inadvertent transfer of samples containing live Bacillus anthracis, also known as anthrax, from a DoD lab in Dugway, Utah, to labs in nine states," said Warren.

"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. The DoD lab was working as part of a DoD effort to develop a field-based test to identify biological threats in the environment," he added.


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