Two new anthrax cases confirmed in New Jersey
TRENTON, New Jersey (CNN) -- Two more confirmed cases of anthrax infections in New Jersey have raised the total number of cases in the United States to 15.
New Jersey officials confirmed Monday that a postal worker has inhalation anthrax and announced that a second person -- who does not work for the U.S. Postal Service -- has the less serious skin anthrax.
This unidentified woman, 51, lives near the Hamilton Township mail facility, where traces of anthrax have been found, health officials said. She tested positive for skin anthrax but is doing fine, they said.
The woman's case is a curious one -- she also worked in a building where a New Jersey congressman keeps his district office.
But officials could not say if either location was connected to the woman's exposure to the bacteria.
U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, said he thought the proximity of the woman's workplace to his office was a coincidence but said FBI agents were testing "her office and my office as well as the whole probe continues to expand."
Smith also told CNN that the Postal Service decided to test 44 stations that feed into the Hamilton Township facility "to find out what are the parameters of contamination."
"I think that's a no-brainer to check those offices with daily contact with the Hamilton Township facility," he said. "That has been ordered."
The Hamilton Township facility worker diagnosed with inhalation anthrax is the second employee at the site to have contracted the disease, which is a more serious form of anthrax, officials said. The worker previously had been listed as a suspected case. Anthrax-tainted letters passed through the facility.
Another postal employee at the center tested positive for skin anthrax. A postal employee in nearby West Trenton also tested positive for skin anthrax.
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