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Anthrax: Postmaster says 'no guarantees'

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The nation's postmaster general said Wednesday there is no need to shut down the U.S. Postal Service despite an increasing roster of confirmed and suspected cases of anthrax.

"We have very defined incidents in four locations around the country," Postmaster General Jack Potter told CNN, referring to cases in New York, Washington, D.C., Florida and New Jersey.

"I don't believe there is a need to shut down the Postal Service. Life is filled with risks. That's not to minimize what's going on here.... If you did, how would you ever open it again? ... There are no guarantees there is no anthrax anywhere."

Also on Wednesday, Ernesto Blanco, a Florida man who was among the first diagnosed with inhalation anthrax, was released from the hospital, his family said. A hospital spokeswoman said he is on a 60-day regimen of Cipro, the antibiotic used most frequently to treat anthrax.


  •  Summary

  •  Case history

  •  Key questions

  •  Bottom line

Anthrax attacks
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  •  Anthrax symptoms
  •  Tracking the bacteria
  •  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, diagnosed with inhaled anthrax infection, was released from the hospital on October 24

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


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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