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Inhalational anthrax outbreak among postal workers, Washington, D.C., 2001.

Authors
Dewan-PK; Fry-AM; Laserson-K; Tierney-BC; Quinn-CP; Hayslett-JA; Broyles-LN; Shane-A; Winthrop-KL; Walks-I; Siegel-L; Hales-T; Semenova-VA; Romero-Steiner-s; Elie-C; Khabbaz-R; Khan-AS; Hajjeh-RA; Schuchat-A; Blosser-F; Burkhart-J; Calvert-G; Delaney-L; Driscoll-R; Echt-A; Feldman-D; Hartle-R; Kiefer-M; King-B; Kullman-G; Lushniak-B; McCleery-R; McKernan-J; Piacitelli-C; Sanderson-W; Schulte-P
Source
Emerg Infect Dis 2002 Oct; 8(10):1066-1072
NIOSHTIC No.
20022385
Abstract
In October 2001, four cases of inhalational anthrax occurred in workers in a Washington, D.C., mail facility that processed envelopes containing Bacillus anthracis spores. We reviewed the envelopes’ paths and obtained exposure histories and nasal swab cultures from postal workers. Environmental sampling was performed. A sample of employees was assessed for antibody concentrations to B. anthracis protective antigen. Case-patients worked on nonoverlapping shifts throughout the facility, suggesting multiple aerosolization events. Environmental sampling showed diffuse contamination of the facility. Potential workplace exposures were similar for the case-patients and the sample of workers. All nasal swab cultures and serum antibody tests were negative. Available tools could not identify subgroups of employees at higher risk for exposure or disease. Prophylaxis was necessary for all employees. To protect postal workers against bioterrorism, measures to reduce the risk of occupational exposure are necessary.
Keywords
Air-sampling; Air-sampling-equipment; Air-sampling-techniques; Airborne-particles; Antibacterial-agents; Antibody-response; Bacterial-cultures; Bacterial-disease; Biological-warfare; Biological-weapons; Manual-materials-handling; Postal-employees; Antigens; Emergency-care; Employee-exposure; Environmental-contamination; Environmental-exposure; Infection-control; Infectious-diseases; Prophylaxis; Aerosol-particles
Contact
Anne Schuchat, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, Mailstop C23, Atlanta, GA 30333
CODEN
EIDIFA
Publication Date
20021001
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
acs1@cdc.gov
Fiscal Year
2003
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
10
ISSN
1080-6059
NIOSH Division
DART; DRDS; DSHEFS; EID; OD
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Infectious Diseases
Source Name
Emerging Infectious Diseases
State
DC; GA; OH; WV
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