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Anthrax: Scrutiny at post offices

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SUMMARY:

Scientists will "immediately" check any postal facility through which an anthrax-tainted letter or package is processed, Health and Human Service Secretary Tommy Thompson said Tuesday.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams said Tuesday that the two Washington postal workers' deaths were the result of inhalation anthrax.

Also on Tuesday, New Jersey health officials said that a female postal worker has been hospitalized with a suspected case of inhalation anthrax. Authorities advised all employees at the facility to see their physicians immediately and begin taking antibiotics.

Meanwhile, House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Missouri, said he believes there is a link between the anthrax cases in the United States and the September 11 terrorist attacks. Gephardt said he thinks mail-processing equipment that applies pressure to envelopes may have played a critical role in spreading anthrax spores at Brentwood.

CASE HISTORY:


  •  Summary

  •  Case history

  •  Key questions

  •  Bottom line

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

Infections -- 12

Florida -- Robert Stevens, dead of inhalation anthrax

Washington -- Two postal workers from the Brentwood facility, dead from inhalation anthrax.

Washington -- Two Capitol Hill postal workers, both 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; the Centers for Disease Control call 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

KEY QUESTIONS:

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?

BOTTOM LINE:

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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