Transcript for Anthrax Scare in Atlanta: Latest on CDC Possible Exposure
The Numbers worse than thought at one of the most dangerous labs in America. The president being briefed after CDC workers were possibly exposed to live anthrax. Asking the authorities how did this happen. Reporter: Deadly anthrax rising tonight to 84. The CDC scrambling to decontaminate what should be the safest and most secure labs anywhere. Earlier this month, workers in three labs handled live anthrax without wearing protective suits. They thought the bacteria was dead, but soon saw it was very much alive. Reporter: The CDC is devastated by this. It was something that should never have happened. We pride ourselves in making sure our people are safe and protected so they can protect you. Reporter: Now, 50 employees are being treated with antibiotics or vaccines and the CDC assures us the risk is low. But the stakes are enormous. Left untreated, the chance of death is 85%. Here in Atlanta, the director of poison control is alarmed. When you think about this. This is a big concern, we should all be worried. Reporter: 87% of Americans live within 100 miles of a lab that works with dangerous diseases. There are 140 of them around the nation. More than 80 studying some of the deadliest agents like anthrax, sars, and plague. What happened here in Atlanta, a real wakeup call. So far none of the more than 80 employees potentially exposed to anthrax have become ill. Symptoms can appear up to two months after exposure.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.