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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2004 Oct 29;53(42):988-90.

Laboratory exposure to Burkholderia pseudomallei--Los Angeles, California, 2003.


On July 26, 2003, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LACDHS) received a report that a local clinical laboratory had isolated from specimens Burkholderia pseudomallei, a category B biologic terrorism agent and the causative organism for melioidosis, which is endemic to certain tropical areas. Because laboratory workers had manipulated cultures of the organism, CDC was asked to assist in the subsequent investigation. This report summarizes the results of that investigation, which included assessment of laboratory exposures, postexposure chemoprophylaxis, and serologic testing of exposed laboratory workers. The findings underscore the need to reinforce proper laboratory practices and the potential benefits of chemoprophylaxis after laboratory exposures.

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