Skip to main content
CNN.com /TRANSCRIPTS

CNN TV
EDITIONS





CNN BREAKING NEWS

NBC News Employee Tests Positive for Anthrax Exposure

Aired October 12, 2001 - 14:39   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, ANCHOR: And again reference this fourth case of anthrax that an NBC News employee is being treated for.

When this all began, about a half hour, 35 minutes ago, we were about to go to Dr. Sanjay Gupta. We will just pretend like we are just doing what we planned to do then.

Dr. Gupta, the question that moment had come up, people who take Cipro or any antibiotic, absent any anthrax in their system, are they doing themselves any good, or might you my they be doing themselves harm?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: That is an excellent point, Aaron. They could in fact be doing themselves some harm, both to themselves and to the community at large. Cipro is an antibiotic, like any other medication, may have side some effects. More importantly, any time you introduce large quantities of antibiotics in the community, you may allow resistant bacteria in future to grow and develop, and that could be a danger in the future, Aaron.

BROWN: And we talked about we talked about not two strains of anthrax exactly, but two different ways it enters the body. The Florida cases, were inhalation more dangerous, the case in New York, as far as we know, where it comes through the skin, discuss that for a bit, why one is more dangerous. Perhaps people are figuring this out as we go. But people are joining us along the way.

GUPTA: Sure, and how I'm referring to them there is has been three exposures total in Florida. One of them progressed to an infection. That was an inhaled version, and now we have exposure that progressed to a cutaneous infection, in New York, and it is the same bacteria. Anthrax is anthrax. The bacteria bacillus anthracis (ph). That's the name. The name's not that important, but the way it gets into your body is. If it gets into your skin, the most common way, it's less dangerous. It takes a long time for it to get from your skin to anywhere else in your body where it may wreak havoc. It if gets into your lungs, much quicker. It gets all they way to the base of your lungs, into your bloodstream, possibly into the fluid surrounding your brain, it can wreak a lot of havoc much more quickly, a lot harder to treat. You inhale it, it's a lot more dangerous.

BROWN: And that's the case of Robert Stevens, the 63-year-old employee of American media, who inhaled we don't quite know how this happened, but he inhaled it, and he died from that. And he died, as I recall it , just a day or two after he was taken to the hospital, whereas, this case in New York, which is a skin case -- I will use that term -- she is being treated, and we are told she is doing okay. Anything else you want to add to this. You are the doctor.

GUPTA: Sure, one thing is cutaneous anthrax is something we do know somewhat more about than inhaled. We have seen cases recently. In fact, we have a graphic. I will warn the viewers, it's a little bit graphic of picture here of actually cutaneous anthrax, and what we see is actually a little bit late stage of the progression of the infection. It just usually starts as sort of a mosquito bite type thing, progresses a little bit further to some bumps, some swelling, and what you are seeing here, Aaron, is actually some of the infection actually in the lymph nodes, the lymph glands. The lymph glands are responsible for your ability to fight off infection, and that's part of the reason anthrax can be dangerous.

Again, I want to reinforce that when it does go through the skin like this, even in this situation, as bad as this looks, it is still very treatable, and cutaneous anthrax is very treatable all along.

OK, obviously we need you to stand by here as this goes on.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


 
 
 
 


 Search   

Back to the top