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Opening a bacillus anthracis-containing envelope, Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.: the public health response.

Authors
Hsu-VP; Lukacs-SL; Handzel-T; Hayslett-J; Harper-S; Hales-T; Semenova-VA; Romero-Steiner-S; Elie-C; Quinn-CP; Khabbaz-R; Khan-AS; Martin-G; Eisold-J; Schuchat-A; Hajjeh-RA
Source
Emerg Infect Dis 2002 Oct; 8(10):1039-1043
NIOSHTIC No.
20033723
Abstract
On October 15, 2001, a U.S. Senate staff member opened an envelope containing Bacillus anthracis spores. Chemoprophylaxis was promptly initiated and nasal swabs obtained for all persons in the immediate area. An epidemiologic investigation was conducted to define exposure areas and identify persons who should receive prolonged chemoprophylaxis, based on their exposure risk. Persons immediately exposed to B. anthracis spores were interviewed; records were reviewed to identify additional persons in this area. Persons with positive nasal swabs had repeat swabs and serial serologic evaluation to measure antibodies to B. anthracis protective antigen (anti-PA). A total of 625 persons were identified as requiring prolonged chemoprophylaxis; 28 had positive nasal swabs. Repeat nasal swabs were negative at 7 days; none had developed anti-PA antibodies by 42 days after exposure. Early nasal swab testing is a useful epidemiologic tool to assess risk of exposure to aerosolized B. anthracis. Early, wide chemoprophylaxis may have averted an outbreak of anthrax in this population.
Keywords
Biological-warfare-agents; Infectious-diseases; Postal-employees; Environmental-contamination; Environmental-exposure; Occupational-exposure; Epidemiology; Disease-incidence; Disease-control; Disease-prevention; Disease-transmission; Inhalants; Inhalation-studies; Aerosols
CODEN
EIDIFA
Publication Date
20021001
Document Type
Journal Article
Fiscal Year
2003
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
10
ISSN
1080-6040
NIOSH Division
DSHEFS
Source Name
Emerging Infectious Diseases
State
OH; GA
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