CDC resumes tuberculosis lab transfers halted after anthrax mishap

July 24 Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:15pm EDT

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July 24 (Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday lifted a moratorium on transfers of inactivated materials from its clinical tuberculosis laboratory, after a mishap at a bioterror lab potentially exposed scores of workers to live anthrax last month and prompted the agency to halt transfers from its other high-containment labs.

The tuberculosis lab is the first of the CDC's high-containment labs to be cleared to resume transfers. Its other such labs remain on hold, the CDC said.

The CDC also announced on Thursday the members of a new panel of independent experts, which will advise CDC's director, Dr. Thomas Frieden, on safety issues and corrective actions for the agency's labs.

In the wake of the anthrax mishap, federal health officials launched a probe that uncovered other incidents, including one in which CDC scientists contaminated samples of low-pathogenic bird flu viruses with a highly pathogenic strain and in March shipped them to a Department of Agriculture lab, where the viruses promptly killed all the chickens exposed to them. (Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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