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Anthrax: Searching for possible links

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The strains of anthrax bacteria found at a television network in New York, a senator's Washington office and a Florida tabloid are "indistinguishable," Tom Ridge, chief of the new Office of Homeland Security, said Friday.

A New Jersey postal worker, who has tested positive for cutaneous anthrax infection, collected mail from residences and businesses only, and that limited contact may provide clues to the origin of anthrax-laced letters mailed to NBC and a U.S. senator.

The latest confirmed cases are a New York Post editorial assistant who tested positive for cutaneous (skin) anthrax, and a second New Jersey postal worker who tested positive for the same.

Elsewhere, federal health authorities said Friday that three of the 31 Capitol Hill workers that had tested positive for anthrax exposure were in fact negative.

Thousands of New Yorkers, shaken by last month's terrorist attacks and further rattled by a series of anthrax incidents, are flooding emergency rooms and phoning health authorities, taxing the city's health system, officials said.


  •  Summary

  •  Case history

  •  Key questions

  •  Bottom line

Anthrax attacks
  •  Investigators baffled by 94-year-old woman's death
  •  Gephardt: Anthrax cleanup 'tougher than expected'
  •  Official: CIA uses anthrax, but no link to letters
  •  Anthrax symptoms
  •  Tracking the bacteria
  •  Advice on suspicious packages
  •  Message board

Infections -- 8

Florida -- Robert Stevens, dead of inhalation anthrax

New York -- New York Post employee, cutaneous anthrax infection

New York -- NBC News woman, cutaneous anthrax infection

New York -- ABC News, baby of producer, cutaneous anthrax infection

Florida -- Ernesto Blanco, very ill; CDC calls it a case of inhaled anthrax infection

New York -- CBS employee in Dan Rather's office, cutaneous anthrax infection

New Jersey -- A Hamilton Township postal worker, cutaneous anthrax infection; a second postal worker in Trenton, New Jersey also tested positive for the same infection

Exposures -- 32

Washington -- 28 people in the Hart Senate Office Building

Florida -- Stephanie Dailey, an American Media Inc. employee

New York -- One police officer, two lab technicians who were investigating NBC News facility


5 AMI employees in Florida whose tests are still outstanding for possible exposure


Is there a connection between the September 11 attacks and the recent anthrax scares?

What should be done with a suspicious package? Click here for more

Are antibiotics available to combat anthrax? Click here for more

How quickly do anthrax symptoms manifest? Click here for more

What does "weapons-grade" anthrax mean? Click here for more

What is being done about anthrax hoaxes? Click here for more

Where is anthrax produced?

Does anthrax serve any other medical purpose?


Recent anthrax scares across the United States have heightened the anxiety level of a nation still reeling from the terrorist attacks on September 11. In the days to come, investigators will try to determine whether the anthrax originated domestically or internationally, and whether it is connected to the events of September 11.


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