Iowa’s been cleared as a source of last fall’s anthrax scare. Since shortly after anthrax spores were mailed to news and congressional offices last October, tests have shown it to be a variety dubbed “the Ames strain.” Researchers at the USDA animal disease labs in Ames have maintained that the germ never came from Iowa. Now, federal lab spokesman Jim Rogers says The Army Medical Institute of Infectious Diseases in Maryland has tracked down the truth.The Army Department found files showing the disease strain had been sent from Texas. Rogers explains the error slipped in because of the system of sending samples from all over the country to the central lab in Maryland.USDA supplies packing for labs to ship things, and mailers carry a return address of the USDA lab in Iowa, which apparently caused the mix-up. Every anthrax attack of fall 2001 involved the same strain, the Texas variety of the bacteria.
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