A technician at the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may have been exposed to the deadly Ebola virus due to a laboratory error, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing federal officials.
The worker will be monitored for signs of infection for 21 days, the disease's incubation period, and a group of fewer than 12 other employees who entered the lab where the mistake happened will also be assessed for exposure, the newspaper said.
The mistake, which occurred on Monday and was discovered on Tuesday, involved sending Ebola samples that had not been inactivated to another lab down the hall. The technician who worked with the samples wore gloves and a gown but not a mask, the Times said.
The error follows cases of the mishandling of dangerous samples of anthrax and influenza at the CDC in June, calling into question safety practices at the highly respected research institute.
Representatives of the CDC were not immediately available for comment.