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US lab is sent live anthrax

Incident at Oakland, Calif., children's hospital research lab exposes seven workers

John Dudley Miller(johnmiller@nasw.org)

At least seven people in an Oakland, Calif., research laboratory have been inadvertently exposed to live anthrax bacteria that had twice been tested to be dead, once by the vendor company that shipped it and once in the lab.

The seven work at Children's Hospital and Research Center at Oakland in a building located 1 mile from the hospital, and no one at the hospital itself was exposed. Three researchers were trying to create an anthrax vaccine using Bacillus anthracis that had supposedly been heat inactivated, while the other four people, and perhaps a few others yet to be determined, worked in the lab but not on the project, according to Ann Petru, an infectious disease specialist at the hospital.

Nasal swabs were taken, Petru said, "but they aren't processed yet." All seven have been put on a 60-day regimen of ciprofloxacin, she said, because they might develop anthrax even...

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