Investigation reveals CDC scientists kept quiet about lethal mistake

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Investigation Reveals CDC Scientists Kept Quiet About Lethal Mistake

The CDC is under fire for another potentially dangerous mistake that scientists kept secret.

Investigation reveals CDC scientists kept quiet about lethal mistake
In this Oct. 8, 2013, file photo, a sign marks the entrance to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,in Atlanta. The CDC said Thursday, June 19, 2014, that some of its staff in Atlanta may have been accidentally exposed to dangerous anthrax bacteria because of a safety problem at some of its labs. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Tom Frieden shows an awareness poster as he testifies before Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations Subcommittee hearing on 'Combating the Ebola Threat' at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC, on August 7, 2014. Overwhelmed west African nations called states of emergency on Thursday as the death toll from a fast-spreading Ebola epidemic neared 1,000. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
MONROVIA, LIBERIA - AUGUST 13: Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Deputy of Global Health Athalia Christie arrives on a Delta Airlines flight from New York's JFK airport on August 13, 2014 near Monrovia, Liberia. The flight was also carrying the Ebola-flighting experimental ZMapp drug, which the Liberian government says will be used to treat Liberian doctors infected by the deadly virus. The current Ebola epidemic has killed more than 1,000 people in four West African countries. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
MONROVIA, LIBERIA - AUGUST 13: A Centers of Disease Control (CDC), worker reviews his Liberian visa as a Delta Airlines flight from New York's JFK airport to Liberia prepares to land on August 13, 2014 near Monrovia, Liberia. The flight was carrying the Ebola-flighting experimental ZMapp drug, which the Liberian government says will be used to treat Liberian doctors infected by the deadly virus. The current Ebola epidemic has killed more than 1,000 people in four West African countries. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
UNDATED: In this handout from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), a colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a Ebola virus virion is seen. As the Ebola virus continues to spread across parts of Africa, a second doctor infected with the disease has arrived in the U.S. for treatment. (Photo by Center for Disease Control (CDC) via Getty Images)
(L-R) French Economy minister Arnaud Montebourg, French Finance minister Michel Sapin, director of finance and market solutions, member of the general direction committee of Natixis Olivier Perquel speak during the signing of the first European obligation''Project Bond'' on numerical infrastructures on July 23, 2014 in Paris. The 'bond projects', launched during the summer of 2012, are a financial implement still experimental in Europe, which finances infrasctructure projects in specific domains (transport, energy, information and communication). AFP PHOTO/FRANCOIS GUILLOT (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)
(L-R) French Economy minister Arnaud Montebourg gestures as he speaks next to French Finance minister Michel Sapin, director of finance and market solutions, member of the general direction committee of Natixis Olivier Perquel, Pierre-Eric Saint-Andre, president of Axione infrastructure, European Investment Bank (EIB) vice-president Philippe De Fontaine Vive Curtaz and Europe's Digital Agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes during the signing of the first European obligation''Project Bond'' on numerical infrastructures on July 23, 2014 in Paris. The 'bond projects', launched during the summer of 2012, are a financial implement still experimental in Europe, which finances infrasctructure projects in specific domains (transport, energy, information and communication). AFP PHOTO/FRANCOIS GUILLOT (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Tom Frieden, center, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, before the House subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing on "Combating the Ebola Threat." From left are, Dr. Ariel Pablos-Méndez, assistant administrator, Bureau for Global Health, USAID, Frieden, and Bisa Williams, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)
Steve Monroe, deputy director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stands under a map showing global health issues under the agency's surveillance from their Emergency Operations Center, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, in Atlanta. An American aid worker infected with Ebola arrived Tuesday from Liberia to Emory University Hospital, just downhill from the CDC, joining a second patient being given an experimental treatment that has never before been tested on humans. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Steve Monroe, deputy director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, looks over a map showing global health issues under the agency's surveillance from their Emergency Operations Center, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, in Atlanta. An American aid worker infected with Ebola arrived Tuesday from Liberia to Emory University Hospital, just downhill from the CDC, joining a second patient being given an experimental treatment that has never before been tested on humans. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
In this undated photo released by the Center for Disease Control, a Aeromedical Biological Containment System which looks like a sealed isolation tent for Ebola air transportation is shown. On Thursday afternoon July 31, 2014, officials at Atlanta's Emory University Hospital said they expected one of the Americans to be transferred there "within the next several days." The hospital declined to identify which aid worker, citing privacy laws. (AP Photo/Center for Disease Control)
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An internal investigation revealed a government scientist working at the headquarters in Atlanta accidentally mixed a deadly strain of bird flu, and then sent it to other labs back in January.

The lab worker reportedly realized a mistake was made, but didn't say anything. Fortunately, no one was infected, but scientists unknowingly worked with the dangerous mix for months before it was discovered.

CDC officials are calling the incident the most worrisome in a series of lab safety problems at the agency.

The same facility had an anthrax exposure scare in June that put more than 80 employees at risk to exposure.

Anthrax enclosed tubes were sent to lower security labs, but workers didn't follow proper safety procedures. They managed to disrupt the samples and remove the lids.

The FBI became involved in the internal investigation while the organization reviewed safety procedures with its employees.

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