Stanford anthrax ‘unlikely’ to pose risk

Stanford University officials assured the public Thursday that a vial potentially carrying live anthrax that was shipped to a campus laboratory last year has not threatened the school.

The Centers for Disease Control alerted Stanford on Tuesday that the vial was one of many shipped nationwide containing the agent Bacillus anthracis, which may not have been fully deactivated before it was sent by the Department of Defense, university officials said.

The vial may contain small amounts of live anthrax spores, but the CDC informed the college that it is “very unlikely to pose any risk,” university officials said.

Stanford’s School of Medicine laboratory received the vial on July 22, 2014, and it was last opened in the lab on July 29, according to university officials.

The vial was being used as part of research for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the immune system “for potential creation of preventative vaccines and treatments of biological threats,” university officials said.

The college has taken necessary precautions to ensure its students and employees are safe, according to university officials.

A safety review was conducted at the laboratory soon after the college was notified by the CDC and learned two people used the vial while following biosafety guidelines, university officials said.

The vial has been sent to the CDC for evaluation, university officials said.

Stanford has not received reports of incidents involving the vial since it was last used in July and is offering medical consultations for any concerned laboratory employees, university officials said.