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CDC UPDATE: Case of Cutaneous Anthrax in a Laboratory Worker

Last updated March 17, 2020

Approved by: Subramanian Malaisamy MD, MRCP (UK), FCCP (USA)

A presumptive case of cutaneous anthrax has been identified in Texas in a worker at a private laboratory which is helping CDC process environmental samples from CDC's anthrax investigations.


CDC UPDATE: Case of Cutaneous Anthrax in a Laboratory Worker

A presumptive case of cutaneous anthrax has been identified in Texas in a worker at a private laboratory which is helping CDC process environmental samples from CDC's anthrax investigations.

On March 4, a laboratory worker in Texas sought medical attention after a lesion on his neck became inflamed and he developed swollen cervical lymph glands. The worker was treated with antibiotics by his physician and is recovering.


On March 6, the laboratory requested CDC to conduct a health hazard evaluation at the facility to better understand the circumstances that may have led to this exposure. On March 7, CDC sent a team consisting of two medical epidemiologists, an industrial hygienist, and a representative of CDC's Office of Health and Safety to conduct this assessment. CDC has also been in contact with the Texas Department of Health.


The laboratory where this individual works was able to culture Bacillus anthracis from the swab obtained by the worker's private physician. The isolate from this culture was sent to CDC on March 12 and CDC confirmed later that day that the isolate was Bacillus anthracis.


CDC does not believe that the case poses any risk to public health.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protects people's health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health decisions by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national, and international organizations.

 

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Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: March 17, 2020
Last updated: March 17, 2020