In a letter last week, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) urged the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct a thorough investigation into the accidental shipments of live anthrax spores.
The letter was sent to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and CDC Director Thomas Frieden. In the letter, Mikulski outlined her concerns of accidental shipments of anthrax spores to labs across the country called on both to investigate how this mistake could have occurred.
She also expressed concern for those who may have come into contact with these shipments.
"I'm also interested in knowing what steps are being taken to proactively reach out to potentially impacted communities to make sure that first responders and local health agencies have the information they need to recognize the symptoms of anthrax exposure," Mikulski wrote in her letter. "I urge you to provide all individuals who may have come in contact with viable B. anthracis, including those who were advised to take antibiotics for anthrax post-exposure prophylaxis, the information and support that they need."
Mikulski also asked what protocols are in place regarding the handling of dangerous samples for the CDC, DOD and the military.
Several labs received samples that contained live spores including the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center in Maryland and the Osan Air Base in South Korea.