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Potentially Live Anthrax Sample Sent To Seattle Lab

A photomicrograph of Bacillus anthracis bacteria using Gram-stain technique.
A photomicrograph of Bacillus anthracis bacteria using Gram-stain technique.

The list of locations with labs that may have mistakenly been sent potentially live anthrax samples keeps growing.

Last week the Pentagon announced that labs in California, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin received the samples. The Pentagon has now added labs in Washington state and Canada to the list. 

The Washington State Department of Health said one sample went to a commercial lab in King County, InBios International Inc. Health department spokesman Donn Moyer said the lab was notified in advance and did not open the sample.

Moyer says InBios immediately returned the sample. No one was exposed.

InBios’s website describes it as a medical diagnostic company that develops medical diagnostic tests for the detection of infectious diseases. Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said the suspect anthrax was from a sample at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah.

The anthrax was supposed to have been inactivated before being sent to labs across the U.S. for research, but apparently was not. It also was sent tolabs in South Korea and Australia.

Currently 26 people are being treated for potential exposure.

The Pentagon and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating.