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Two more anthrax infections reported in New Jersey

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SUMMARY:

A second Hamilton Township, New Jersey, postal worker has inhalation anthrax, health officials confirmed. The worker had been on the list of suspected cases. A woman who lives nearby but does not work at the Hamilton mail facility was diagnosed with skin anthrax. She is the first person to contract the disease who is not connected to the Postal Service or the news media.

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends the Hart Office Building be fumigated to kill anthrax spores. The building has tested positive for anthrax in multiple locations after an anthrax-laced letter was opened in office of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.

The New York metro postal union asked a federal court to force the U.S. Postal Service to "shut down the facilities that test positive for anthrax" and close others until tests show them "to be free of anthrax." Anthrax was found on four delivery bar code sorting machines in the Morgan Mail Processing and Distribution Center last week.

In Miami, postal workers filed a similar suit Monday demanding the testing of all employees at facilities that might have been contaminated by anthrax. The Miami local of the American Postal Workers Union, which represents 3,300 workers from Boca Raton to Homestead, also called for the buildings to be closed until they can be screened for anthrax.

In a health alert, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said that the antibiotic doxycycline is now the drug of choice for preventive anthrax treatment, a change from CDC protocols last week that said either doxycycline or ciprofloxacin were acceptable.

CASE HISTORY:

 VIDEO
CNN's Susan Candiotti interviews Ernesto Blanco, one of the Florida victims from American Media Inc. who contracted inhalation anthrax (October 26)

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  • 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 -- 15

Florida -- Robert Stevens, photo editor at American Media Inc. in Boca Raton, died of inhalation anthrax.

Washington -- Two postal workers -- Joseph Curseen Jr. and Thomas Morris Jr. -- died of inhalation anthrax. Both worked at the Brentwood processing center.

Washington -- Two other Brentwood workers, inhalation anthrax.

Washington area -- State Department mailroom employee, inhalation anthrax.

Florida -- Ernesto Blanco, who worked in same building as Robert Stevens, diagnosed with inhalation anthrax; released from hospital on October 24.

New Jersey -- Two Hamilton Township postal workers, inhalation anthrax.

New Jersey, New York -- six cases of cutaneous anthrax.

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 investigating NBC News facility. The medical examiner is re-evaluating the death of a Manhattan postal worker earlier this month. The employee worked at the Morgan General Mail Facility, where anthrax spores have since been discovered.

KEY QUESTIONS:

What does the New York postal union hope to win with its lawsuit? Click here for more

What does the Miami-area postal union hope to win in court? Click here for more

What should you do if you get a suspicious letter or package? Click here for more

What are the symptoms of anthrax? Click here for more

BOTTOM LINE:

On the same day another New Jersey postal worker is confirmed as suffering from inhalation anthrax, postal workers in New York and Miami filed lawsuits based on concerns they are being asked to work in anthrax-contaminated buildings. The Environmental Protection Agency recommended the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington be fumigated with chlorine dioxide gas to kill all anthrax spores in it.



 
 
 
 



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