MILITARY

Officials say anthrax not properly killed in Army lab was sent to dozens of locations

FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2015 file photo, Referee Module No. 2 of the Whole System Live Agent Test at Dugway Proving Ground in Dugway, Utah.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating that aspect of what went wrong at Dugway Proving Ground, the Army installation in Utah that sent the anthrax to government and commercial labs in nine states across the U.S. and to an Army lab in South Korea. The problem of unintended shipments of potentially live anthrax spores over the past decade is worse than first believed, officials said Wednesday.  (Kristin Murphy/The Deseret News via AP)  SALT LAKE TRIBUNE OUT;  MAGS OUT

FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2015 file photo, Referee Module No. 2 of the Whole System Live Agent Test at Dugway Proving Ground in Dugway, Utah. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating that aspect of what went wrong at Dugway Proving Ground, the Army installation in Utah that sent the anthrax to government and commercial labs in nine states across the U.S. and to an Army lab in South Korea. The problem of unintended shipments of potentially live anthrax spores over the past decade is worse than first believed, officials said Wednesday. (Kristin Murphy/The Deseret News via AP) SALT LAKE TRIBUNE OUT; MAGS OUT  (The Associated Press)

U.S. defense officials say the problem of unintended shipments of potentially live anthrax spores over the past decade is likely worse than first believed.

Officials now say it's possible that more than four dozen such shipments were sent to laboratories in the U.S. and at least three to other countries. That's about twice the estimate of last week.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss specifics by name.

The Pentagon has repeatedly asserted that the mistakes posed no public health hazard.

Details on the extent of the problem are expected to be presented at a news conference Wednesday by Robert Work, the deputy defense secretary.

Last Friday Work ordered a comprehensive review of laboratory procedures associated with killing, or inactivating, live anthrax for shipment.