Beyond Florida, Anthrax Alerts in New York City, Reno, Washington, D. C.

Bacillus anthracis, anthrax bacteria, can form stable spores that are resistant to harsh conditions and extreme temperatures. Photomicrograph courtesy University of Michigan.
Bacillus anthracis, anthrax bacteria, can form stable spores that are resistant to harsh conditions and extreme temperatures. Photomicrograph courtesy University of Michigan.

October 12, 2001 - The FBI announced today that both The New York Times and NBC have received mail containing suspicious white powder. The NBC employee (not yet identified) who handled an envelope has tested positive for skin anthrax. She has long worked for Tom Brokaw's "Nightly News" and on September 25, she handled a letter that threatened Mr. Brokaw and contained a white powder that she reported to authorities. The powder at first tested negative for anthrax. But then she developed a black cutaneous anthrax infection the size of a softball on her arm. That means the bacteria entered her skin through a cut, but so far no anthrax bacteria has been confirmed in that mailed powder. Cutaneous anthrax is easily treatable with antibiotics which the NBC employee has been taking and progressing well.

 

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