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Exclusive, CDC reassigns director of lab behind anthrax blunder

6/23/2014

Reuters
By Hilary Russ and Julie Steenhuysen
Atlanta/Chicago
June 23, 2014

(Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reassigned the director of the bioterror lab behind the potential anthrax exposure of dozens of scientists and staff, sources told Reuters, as the anthrax controversy intensified.

Michael Farrell, head of the CDC's Bioterror Rapid Response and Advanced Technology Laboratory, has been reassigned as the agency investigates the incident, two CDC scientists who are not authorized to speak with press told Reuters.

The possible exposure has forced as many as 84 employees at the agency's Atlanta campus to get a vaccine or take powerful antibiotics with known side effects to ward off potentially deadly anthrax disease.

true CDC spokesman Tom Skinner declined to comment on Farrell. Calls and e-mail to Farrell were not returned.

On Friday, the CDC gathered staff at a meeting, where individuals in labs adjacent to the affected areas complained they had not been properly informed about the anthrax incident first discovered on June 13, Skinner said.

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