The Pentagon has admitted that 51 shipments of potentially live anthrax have been sent across the United States, and that number is expected to grow.

The CDC is inspecting samples at 51 labs in 17 states and Washington, D.C. It is also looking at labs in Canada, Australia and South Korea.

So far, the CDC has found live anthrax in 10 samples. Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said he expects that number to rise because of the size of the investigation, which is still ongoing.

Officials say it’s highly unlikely that anyone at the labs has been infected, though 31 people have been put on antibiotics as a precaution.

Work said that there’s no indication that this was a deliberate act. He said that it may have stemmed from a failure in the technical process of killing samples.

The Pentagon stressed that these mistakes don’t pose a threat to the general public.


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