depLiterally hundreds of incidents involving viruses, bacteria and toxins that pose major bioterror risks to both people and agriculture have been reported to federal regulators from 2008 through 2012, according to government reports obtained and reviewed by USA TodayMore than half of the over 1,100 incidents were serious enough that laboratory workers had to have medical evaluations and/or treatment, the reports note. And in five of the incidents, regulators confirmed that lab workers had been either infected or sickened, though all recovered.

USA Today also reportedIn two other incidents, animals were inadvertently infected with contagious diseases that would have posed significant threats to livestock industries if they had spread. One case involved the infection of two animals with hog cholera, a dangerous virus eradicated from the USA in 1978. In another incident, a cow in a disease-free herd next to a research facility studying the bacteria that cause brucellosis, became infected due to practices that violated federal regulations, resulting in regulators suspending the research and ordering a $425,000 fine, records show. More