U.S. officials admitted Thursday that not only had the military accidentally sent live anthrax to labs in nine different states, as well as South Korea, but that in total 26 people were likely exposed.
California, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Virginia received live samples meant for germ warfare training via FedEx, as did the Osan Air Force Base in South Korea, Reuters reports. Hazardous material teams subsequently destroyed the anthrax samples.
In the U.S. the four employees exposed are undergoing precautionary medical treatment to avoid the problem of inhalation anthrax, which killed five people in 2001. Treatment usually includes a course of antibiotics and the anthrax vaccine.
“There is no known risk to the general public, and there are no suspected or confirmed cases of anthrax infection in potentially exposed lab workers,” Col. Steven Warren, Pentagon spokesman , said in a statement.