Approximately 75 or more workers at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention may have been exposed to anthrax bacteria due to a safety problem in a lab, WSB TV reports citing an Associated Press story. This happened as a result of Anthrax bacteria that was not properly inactivated and moved to a lab with lesser biosafety measures that were not designed to handle such samples, the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions says.
The workers assumed the samples were inactive and, therefore, didn’t wear adequate safety gear while handling them causing the workers to be exposed to the potentially dangerous bacteria. When anthrax spores get inside the body, they can be “activated,” according to the CDC website and when this activation occurs the bacteria may multiply, spread into other parts of the body, produce poisons, and eventually cause severe illness.
The problem was discovered last Friday, when live anthrax bacteria were found on some materials being gathered for disposal. Agency officials said the staff members are being monitored or given antibiotics as a precaution against exposure to the disease-causing bacteria. Fortunately, there is no risk of exposure for other CDC staff, family members or the general public, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says. Furthermore, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials plan to review safety protocol with all employees since the agency’s own protocols were not followed in this situation.
This is a classic case of a Worker’s Compensation Claim. Worker’s Compensation Claims exist when an employee is injured on the job regardless of fault. In this case, it was clearly the fault of the employer and the employer has acknowledged that it did not even follow its own procedures leading to this potentially tragic incident.
Even if the employees do not become ill due this incident, they are entitled to any lost wages if having to miss work as a result of the incident, the cost of any medications for themselves and possible their families, and any other damages that flow from this on the job incident. It remains to be seen if the employees who were exposed to the anthrax bacteria will become ill. If they do, however, then they have an even more comprehensive Worker’s Compensation Claim against the CDC, and may have other claims as well since company protocols were not followed as admitted by the CDC.
This could have been a real tragedy and, fortunately, it seems like the situation is under control at this time. I should be noted, however, that illness due to exposure to anthrax can take up to two (2) months to manifest in a person’s body.
At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, we are experts at Worker’s Compensation Claims so if you or a loved one has been injured or killed on the job, then please Contact Us for your free legal consultation. We have assisted hundreds, if not thousands, of people receive the Worker’s Compensation Benefits that they deserve under the law. Since there are strict time limitations in these types of cases, it is important that you contact us as soon as possible after an injury or death on the job. We look forward to hearing from you soon.