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San Antonio Lab Not Among Those Accidentally Receiving Live Anthrax

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A San Antonio lab that does research on anthrax says it did not receive potentially dangerous anthrax spores accidentally shipped by  U.S. Department of Defense workers. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says shipments of live anthrax from the Dugway Proving Ground, an Army facility in Utah, may have been sent to as many as nine laboratories, some in Texas. 

The Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio has clearance to work with anthrax but says none of the live spores were sent here.

A CDC spokesperson confirms that a lab in Maryland received some of the live anthrax but says the general public does not appear to be in danger.    Contact with the spores can cause serious illness.

The CDC says its investigation into anthrax shipments began after the agency received a call from one lab that is trying to develop a new test to identify biological threats.

The lab thought it was working with inactive spores but was able to grow live Bacillus anthracis, which is anthrax.

The CDC is working with state and federal agencies to contact labs that received samples from the Defense Department, she said.  The samples involved in the investigation will be securely transferred to the CDC or other laboratories for further testing.

 

 

Shelley Kofler is Texas Public Radio’s news director. She joined the San Antonio station in December 2014 and leads a growing staff that produces two weekly programs; a daily talk show, news features, reports and online content. Prior to TPR, Shelley served as the managing editor and news director at KERA in Dallas-Fort Worth, and the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.