Pentagon mistakenly sent live anthrax samples to Winnipeg lab

​The Pentagon mistakenly sent live anthrax samples to a microbiology lab in Winnipeg, The Public Health Agency of Canada has confirmed.

Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg got live anthrax bacterium by mistake

The Pentagon is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to retrieve live anthrax samples inadvertently sent to a number of labs in 2006. A national microbiology lab in Winnipeg was one of the recipients. (Charles Dharapak/Associated Press)

The Pentagon mistakenly sent live anthrax samples to a microbiology lab in Winnipeg, The Public Health Agency of Canada has confirmed.

The shipment came in 2006 with testing kits sent from the U.S. Department of Defence that were meant to help the lab validate its anthrax detection tests.

The kits were supposed to contain "dead" or inactive anthrax bacteria.

According to PHAC, there's no risk to the general public or lab employees.
The National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg received test kits with live anthrax samples by mistake in 2006, the Public Health Agency of Canada confirmed on Tuesday. (John Woods/Canadian Press)

Last week, the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said it was investigating a number of Pentagon shipments to three Canadian labs and 11 states.

A Pentagon spokesman said at the time the samples were sent from the Dugway Proving Ground, an army facility in Utah.

PHAC officials said the testing kit hasn't been used in over five years, and there were no reports of illness among staff who would have worked with the kit five years ago.

On Tuesday, PHAC officials said they were working with their U.S. counterparts to determine the next steps.

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