US government infectious disease labs mishandled dangerous pathogens five times in the last decade, according to a health agency report.

This year alone, workers mishandled samples of anthrax and the highly-infectious H5N1 avian flu.

In response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has closed the two labs involved.

The agency has also temporarily barred high-security labs from transporting dangerous pathogens.

There have been no reported infections from previous cases, and no-one potentially exposed to anthrax has shown signs of illness, CDC officials said.

“These events should never have happened,” CDC Director Tom Frieden told reporters on Friday.

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