Nearly half of the anthrax lots that have been tested so far at Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah have contained live bacteria, the Pentagon said Thursday, as testing continues on the remaining Pentagon samples.
In total, 91 lots have been tested from three military labs. The only positive samples have come from Dugway, he said.
The testing is part of a Pentagon review that was spurred by a civilian Maryland lab receiving live anthrax last month in a sample that was supposed to be killed by radiation. The Maryland lab contacted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is conducting its own investigation independent of the Defense Department.
The Pentagon investigation is testing every Defense Department anthrax sample to check for live bacteria as well as looking for how the radiation process, as well as a culture test to ensure the sample was dead, failed to catch the live bacteria.
Defense officials had previously estimated that there were more than 400 lots to test, but Col. Warren said Thursday that that number may not be correct.
A total of 68 labs in 19 states, four countries and the District of Columbia received potentially live anthrax samples. In Defense Department testing, the initial Maryland sample is still the only one that actually tested positive for live bacteria, Col. Warren said.
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