Investigation finds CDC mishandled pathogens

Investigation finds CDC mishandled pathogens
© Getty Images

Laboratories for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been referred for enforcement actions six times since 2003 for mishandling dangerous pathogens that could potentially be used in bioweapons, as first reported by USA Today. 


The CDC said its labs have been referred to the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General for enforcement actions six times since 2003. 

Three cases involved sending pathogens to entities not approved to receive them, two cases involved discovering pathogens in unregistered areas of CDC facilities and one involved “inventory and oversight concerns,” the CDC said in a statement.

"None of these violations resulted in a risk to the public or illness in laboratory workers."

The CDC also faced scrutiny in 2014 over a series of cases of mishandling Ebola, anthrax and the flu at its facilities. 

One CDC technician then was monitored for signs of Ebola after potentially being exposed to the virus. 

The CDC said it has taken steps to improve safety in the past year and is "committed to doing all we can to protect laboratory workers and the communities around them, while supporting scientific advancement to combat evolving threats.”