The director in charge of the Centers for Disease Control laboratory in Atlanta where more than 80 workers may have been exposed to anthrax has been reassigned, according to Reuters.
Two anonymous sources from the CDC told Reuters that "Michael Farrell, head of the CDC's Bioterror Rapid Response and Advanced Technology Laboratory, has been reassigned as the agency investigates the incident." In addition, the CDC ceded control of the investigation to the USDA.
After initial reports last week that 75 CDC workers "failed to follow proper procedures to inactivate the bacteria" and may have came in contact with live anthrax, the numbers climbed into the mid-80s over the weekend. Though the risk for infection is very low, the potentially-exposed workers were given an anthrax vaccine and antibiotics.
Speaking to NBC News, CDC deputy director Dr. Ileana Arias said that "we wish we knew" exactly how the exposure may have occurred, and defended the CDC: "any lab has incidents ... in every situation we have been very diligent and aggressive in identifying what caused those breaches, what caused those problems."