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NY Post: "Now it's in our newsroom"

NEW YORK (CNN) -- An editorial assistant for the New York Post has tested positive for cutaneous (skin) anthrax, the newspaper said Friday, bringing the number of cases of confirmed anthrax infections in the United States to seven since October 1.

Four of the seven cases have been found in New York, all four of them at media companies.

In a statement released Friday, the Post said the employee, an editorial assistant, was first tested after the discovery of anthrax at NBC's offices October 12. An employee at NBC, another at CBS and the 7-month-old son of an ABC producer have all tested positive for cutaneous anthrax.

Initial tests on the Post employee were negative, but a subsequent blood test came back positive, sources told CNN.

The employee, who was not named, has already returned to work, the Post statement said, and "is expected to make a swift and complete recovery." It was not clear how she was exposed to the bacteria.

Three other employees who had flu-like symptoms were also tested, the statement said, and all three tests returned negative.

Authorities are still checking the Post building, but preliminary environmental sweeps have turned up no spores.

Jana Telfer, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, told CNN that health officials were not recommending prophylactic antibiotics to Post employees because enough time has lapsed that they are reasonably certain no other infections have occurred.

A Post reporter, who asked to remain anonymous, told CNN that the mood inside the newsroom is one of "heightened alert" and a "new seriousness."

"Now it's in our newsroom," the reporter said.


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