Pentagon Mishandled Plague

USA Today reports Pentagon laboratories “may have mislabeled, improperly stored, and shipped samples of potentially infectious plague bacteria.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention flagged the practices of an Army bioweapons lab, which lead to a research moratorium last week. The revelations come after a scandal broke in May that a U.S. Army lab mishandled anthrax for 10 years, shipping the deadly bacteria to several states and foreign countries without killing the spores. The Defense Department said there is no danger to the public, but pneumonic plague (when not treated by antibiotics) has a 93 percent fatality rate. The CDC is also concerned about military labs’ handling of two other pathogens that cause encephalitis, or swelling of the brain.