The potential for an anthrax breakout has been large recently, as discovered after news came of 18 labs getting shipments of live anthrax, instead of shipments that were supposed to be dead. Now the Pentagon is at risk after receiving a possible live shipment of anthrax and is looking into the matter. No news has been released as to whether or not the anthrax was inside the Pentagon or outside. As the shipments are first taken to Pentagon police, The Pentagon Force Protection Agency, investigators are still working to determine whether or not the shipment of anthrax made it inside. As of now, they state that they do not believe the anthrax made it to the Pentagon grounds. However, of the 18 labs that also received shipments, many of them have been closed down for medical treatment, as 26 people may have been exposed.
Though it is currently believed that the shipments of live anthrax which went to various labs in California, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, New York, Virginia, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and now the Pentagon, was a mistake, many government officials and organizations are looking into the matter. The CDC also believes that Canada, South Korea, and Australia may also have received potentially threatening live anthrax.
Stating that there is no excuse for this happening, and calling it gross negligence, many are suggesting that the parties responsible should lose their license to work with active agents. Sources state that the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah is responsible for the mistake. According to officials, they do not yet know if all shipments contained the live bacteria, and according to sources, many officials are refusing to comment until they know for sure what the scope is.
Though the Pentagon recently received a possible live shipment of anthrax – putting it at risk – officials are stating that there is no threat to the public. They also believe that the materials were handled in a secure manner, and that the matter was taken care of before it could become a threat. With no word yet whether those inside or outside of the government building were infected, the building may get the all clear soon.
By Crystal Boulware
CNN: Pentagon may have received shipment of live anthrax
USA Today: Up to 18 labs in U.S. got live anthrax shipments
Photo Courtesy of David B. Gleason Wikimedia Page – Creative Commons License