CDC tightens internal regulations after possible exposures

CDC tightens internal regulations after possible exposures

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden assured extra precautions while handling samples of dangerous diseases. (Source: FOX) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden assured extra precautions while handling samples of dangerous diseases. (Source: FOX)

ATLANTA (FOX) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a moratorium on transporting potentially dangerous germs from government laboratories in Atlanta to other labs.

The move came after three recent reports of possible exposure of harmful materials to humans.

In June, CDC employees were potentially exposed to the anthrax virus.

Next, officials recently learned about an incident that happened earlier this year when one of its labs accidentally contaminated a sample of conventional flu virus with a deadly bird flu germ.

That sample was then sent to another government lab.

Third, unsecured smallpox vials were found in a room at the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, said steps are being taken to make sure this does not happen again.

"The American people depend on the CDC to work 24/7 to protect their health," Frieden said. "They also expect us to adhere to the highest standards possible, and I expect that as well. Because our scientists and our laboratories are national treasures, all of us at CDC share a responsibility to make sure that we do everything possible to make sure our staff are safe when the do their work. That's why events like this should never happen, and that's why I will do everything in my power."

The agency will begin a process to establish an external advisory group for laboratory safety. A review group will be established under the direction of the CDC's associate director for science to look at the systems in place.

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