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US Anthrax Scare Hits White House

By Vision Reporter

Added 24th October 2001 03:00 AM

WASHINGTON, Wednesday – Anthrax was found on Tuesday at a military facility that sorts mail for the White House, as tests confirmed that two postal workers died of the disease and a possible new case of its most virulent form emerged.

WASHINGTON, Wednesday – Anthrax was found on Tuesday at a military facility that sorts mail for the White House, as tests confirmed that two postal workers died of the disease and a possible new case of its most virulent form emerged. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer revealed that anthrax spores had been detected at the military base, the latest government site hit in a spate of germ warfare mailings that have also targeted media groups. “It was found on what is called a ‘slitter,’ which is a mechanical device that opens the mail. It was not found on any mail itself,” Fleischer said. Employees at the base, which Fleischer identified only as “miles away from the White House,” were being screened and offered antibiotics. All tests for anthrax at the White House had proved negative, he said, but declined to say if the anthrax had entered the base in a letter addressed to the White House itself. President George W. Bush said he still felt safe, even though it appeared the White House may have been targeted. “I don’t have anthrax,” he said twice, but declined to say whether he had been tested for the disease. “I am confident when I come to work tomorrow that I’ll be safe. We’re working hard to find out who’s doing this and bring them to justice.” A new case of inhalation anthrax, the most potent manifestation of the disease, was meanwhile suspected in New Jersey, where a female mail handler was hospitalised in serious but stable condition. State health official George DiFerdinando said at a news conference the woman was responding to treatment. At least three anthrax-laced letters were sent through the Hamilton mail processing centre near Trenton, New Jersey, where the woman works, and were addressed to NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and the New York Post. In New York, postal workers at five key facilities in Manhattan will be given the antibiotic Cipro in a bid to counter growing fears of anthrax contamination. The US government would like to have a reserve of 200 million doses of Cipro, enough to treat 12 million people for 60 days, health officials said. AFP Ends

US Anthrax Scare Hits White House

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