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Pakistan reports anthrax exposures

Anthrax inspection
The newsroom of Pakistan's Daily Jang in Karachi is examined  

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Two people at separate locations have been exposed to anthrax, and at least one letter has turned up containing anthrax, Pakistan's science minister said Friday.

Neither of the two people exposed has exhibited symptoms of the disease, said Science and Technology Minister Atta-ur-Rahman.

"I think that they were detected in time and treated in time," he said.

Officials have confirmed only one letter contains anthrax, said Rahman. A private laboratory has issued reports on three other letters "and they need to be confirmed by the government," Rahman said.

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The letters were sent to a national newspaper, a computer company and a bank, with one location receiving two letters, Rahman said.

Mahmood Sham, editor Daily Jang, Pakistan's largest newspaper in Karachi, said a reporter at the Urdu-language publication opened a letter containing white powder on October 23. The letter and the person who opened it tested positive for presence of anthrax. he said.

There is no laboratory in Pakistan that could have processed the anthrax, "so it must have come from outside" the country, Rahman said.

-- CNN Producer Allison Flexner contributed to this report.


• Daily Jang newspaper (Urdu)

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