(NEW YORK) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is resuming shipments of biological samples including tuberculosis bacteria, the agency announced Thursday.
The CDC lifted the moratorium on a specific type of material transfer for its Clinical Tuberculosis Laboratory, but is still keeping it in place for other high-containment facilities.
The decision follows a review from the agency’s internal working group to make improvements to lab safety. Initially, such transfers of TB samples were prohibited after safety issues with anthrax and bird flu.
In addition to the lifting of the temporary ban, the CDC announced the formation of an external laboratory safety workgroup to provide advice and guidance to the agency’s director and the CDC’s new Director of Laboratory Safety.
The group will work to identify potential weaknesses in labs, oversee training needs, and suggest ways to provide stronger safeguards for facilities, among other tasks. Members are scheduled to meet for the first time in early August.
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Jackie Wattles, CNN