Pentagon Cock-Up Results in Unexpected Anthrax Special Delivery

By Nick Cowen on at

We all make mistakes at work. We've all overloaded the printer, lost the stapler or spilled coffee over our PCs. Oh...just me then? Well to the best of my knowledge I have yet to send an acute disease to any of my colleagues. Yet.

Then again, we don't work at the Pentagon and we don't have access to Anthrax so it's unlikely we'll ever have to hold our hands up, red-faced, over an incident like that. The Guardian is reporting that the Pentagon has admitted to an "inadvertent transfer of samples containing live Bacillus anthracis” (that's Anthrax to you) from a defence department laboratory in Dugway, Utah.

Pentagon spokesman, Col. Steve Warren said that a lab in Maryland had received live spores of the disease and that it was suspected - although not confirmed at this stage - that labs in up to eight other states may also have taken delivery of the spores.

Before anyone hits the panic button, however, Warren stated that the public wasn't really at risk. "There is no known risk to the general public, and there are no suspected or confirmed cases of anthrax infection in potentially exposed lab workers," he said.

Warren added that "the shipment of this material from its labs pending completion of the investigation." [Guardian]