updated 6/20/2014 12:22:08 PM ET 2014-06-20T16:22:08

(Reuters) - The U.S. government said on Friday that 84 scientists and staff were possibly exposed to live anthrax bacteria after researchers failed to follow safety procedures.

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A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcement on Thursday that at least 75 people had been affected prompted an investigation by federal authorities.

CDC spokesman Benjamin Haynes said in an email on Friday that the number has increased to 84 potential exposures.

(Corrected by changing the CDC figure to 84 from 86)

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu in Washington; Editing by Eric Beech and James Dalgleish)

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