- The Washington Times - Friday, June 20, 2014

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 75 workers may have been exposed to anthrax, but that the likelihood was minimal and not to worry.

“Based on most of the potential exposure scenarios, the risk of infection is very low,” CDC staff said in a statement reported by CNN. “CDC believes that other CDC staff, family members and the general public are not at risk of exposure and do not need to take any protective action.”

The 75 are being monitored for flu-like symptoms and fed antibiotics, CNN reported.

The possible exposure could have happened when a lab did not properly inactivate samples before moving them and using them for experimentation. The samples were sent to three labs that weren’t equipped with the ability to deal with live Bacillus anthracis (anthrax), CNN reported.

The workers in the three labs thought the samples were inactivated and so didn’t put on protective gear.

“In the worst-case scenarios, literally, within a day or two of exposure, if you’ve inhaled spores and if they are very lethal, one begins to get — as they say — the standard flu symptoms — high fever, malaise,” said Leonard Cole, a bioterrorism expert, in CNN. “You get lazy. You feel sick. You get headaches. You get bone aches. And then after a day or two, in the worst case, if you don’t get treatment, it could be lethal for you, and beyond treatment.”

The exposure fear was discovered June 13, CNN reported. The CDC, meanwhile, said those responsible for the breach will receive disciplinary action.

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