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Update: 86 lab workers possibly exposed to live anthrax bacteria

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UPDATED: 1:05 p.m.

The number of CDC lab workers potentially exposed to anthrax is now 86, up from 75 reported Thursday.

The exposure was identified last Friday, June 13.

Officials say technicians failed to inactivate live anthrax samples before they were sent to other labs within CDC.

Some technicians may have handled these samples without protective equipment.

Experts say the risk of infection is low, but they are providing antibiotics to staff members who were exposed.

GEORGIA – The Centers for Disease Control announced Thursday that approximately 75 of their staff members working at their Atlanta headquarters may have been exposed to live anthrax.

It happened after an incorrect procedure failed to inactivate live anthrax samples to safe levels for handling.

Lab technicians who later worked with the samples used inadequate protective equipment.

Also, procedures in at least two to three affected labs may have released anthrax spores into the air.

The CDC says the risk of infection is still under the circumstances, but they are taking aggressive steps to threat those who were possibly exposed with protective courses of antibiotics. Co-workers and family members of the 75 workers are not considered at risk.

Labs and hallway areas were thoroughly tested and decontaminated.

The CDC has launched an international investigation to determine why the correct procedures were not followed.