Pentagon officials announced on Friday, the plan to launch an investigation into the mishandling of deadly anthrax samples following the news that several other infectious samples were inadvertently sent to a lab in Australia.
The Pentagon says there are no suspected infections or risk to the general public.
The department said 24 laboratories in 11 states and 2 foreign countries, South Korea and Australia, are believed to have received suspect anthrax samples.
The people “may have been exposed during the training event” at Osan Air Base, the reports said, quoting a statement from the base.
“We continue to work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who is leading the ongoing investigation pursuit to its statutory authorities”, the Pentagon statement said.
“If the Government can put in a big effort in terms of Johnny Depp’s dogs, then I reckon they should give a full explanation for something as serious as this”, Xenophon said.
The professor claimed that such cases occur regularly, referring to similar shipments of live anthrax bacteria in 2006 and 2014.
That incident and a similar one last spring, in which CDC scientists shipped what they thought was a benign form of bird flu but which was actually a highly virulent strain, led United States lawmakers to fault a “dangerous pattern” of safety lapses at government labs. But the matter of concern right now is the sample sent to Australia, including the type of laboratory that may have received it.
The Pentagon has also ordered a comprehensive review of defence laboratory procedures intended to make anthrax inactive for research. No employees have gotten sick or are at risk, and there is no danger to the public either, said Jackie Lustig, a spokeswoman for Massachusetts-based Alere Inc., which owns BBI. The mistake was discovered after one of the private commercial labs reported it was able to grow live Bacillus anthracis from the samples, the Pentagon said. Human error probably was not a factor in the Army’s mistaken shipment of live anthrax samples to numerous Odierno told reporters the problem may have been a failure in the technical process of killing, or inactivating, anthrax samples.
But 22 people at a United States air base in South Korea have been given precautionary medical treatment.
CDC released an email to USA Today saying the scope of the live anthrax samples could be much larger than currently known.
The CDC has now shut down two of its labs, while government labs in Atlanta have suspended the shipment of any harmful pathogens.
Test facilities like Dugway are intended to develop ways to defend against biochemical warfare, which some fear could be used by terrorists, said Barry M. Blechman, co-founder of the Stimson Center, a nonpartisan global security group in Washington.