WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Pentagon may have inadvertently sent live anthrax samples to more than 51 laboratories in 17 US states and three foreign countries, US Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work said Tuesday at a press conference.
“There are 51 laboratories in 17 states, one in the District of Colombia, and three foreign countries we believe have received suspect samples,” Work said. “We expect this number may rise because the scope of the investigation is going on.”
The number of suspected laboratories that may have received live anthrax has doubled since the US Department of Defense announced last Wednesday anthrax spores may have failed to be killed through radiation before being sent to labs.
The Defense Department sends anthrax spores killed by radiation to laboratories for research.
Work said there will be a review of biosafety procedures and protocols in order to identify and resolve any problems.
The anthrax shipments did not present a risk to public health, Work said, as the shipments were in liquid format and at low dosages.
At least two dozen workers at laboratories were put on watch last week and some were provided with anti-bionics as a precaution.