11 july 2014
US government infectious disease labs mishandled dangerous pathogens five times in the last decade, according to a health agency report.
This year alone, workers mishandled samples of anthrax and the highly-infectious H5N1 avian flu.
In response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has closed the two labs involved.
The agency has also temporarily barred high-security labs from transporting dangerous pathogens.
There have been no reported infections from previous cases, and no-one potentially exposed to anthrax has shown signs of illness, CDC officials said.
“These events should never have happened,” CDC Director Tom Frieden told reporters on Friday.
“I’m disappointed, and frankly I’m angry about it,” he said, adding later he was “astonished that this could have happened here”.