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Div. of Media Relations
1600 Clifton Road
MS D-14
Atlanta, GA 30333
(404) 639-3286
Fax (404) 639-7394

November 4, 2001/4:30 PM, ET
Contact: CDC Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

Press Release

CDC Update: Smallpox Outbreak Readiness, Current Case Count, and Telebriefings

CDC Prepares Teams to Respond to Possible Smallpox Outbreak

CDC is taking steps to protect the public's health in case of an intentional release of smallpox. Teams – which include physicians, epidemiologists, laboratorians – have been vaccinated against smallpox and are attending readiness-training at CDC to identify and contain smallpox outbreaks. Each team could be immediately dispatched from CDC to assist local and state health departments if a case of this contagious disease is suspected. Smallpox is difficult to recognize because it was eradicated from the world more than 20 years ago. This is part of CDC's ongoing public health emergency response efforts. For more information, visit:

CDC confirmed cases of anthrax

Summary of Local, State, and Federal Confirmed Human Cases and Exposures

Case Status Florida New York City New Jersey Washington, DC Total
Confirmed 2 5 5 5 17
    Cutaneous 0 4 3 0  
    Inhalational 2 1 2 5  
Suspect 0 3 2 0 5
    Cutaneous 0 3 2 0  
    Inhalational 0 0 0 0  
Total Cases         22

There have been 4 deaths associated with inhalational anthrax.

CDC confirmed cases are based on a rigorous case definition, which was published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) on October 19, 2001. The MMWR is available on-line at:

CDC defines a confirmed case of anthrax as 1) a clinically compatible case of cutaneous, inhalational, or gastrointestinal illness that is laboratory confirmed by isolation of B. anthracis from an affected tissue or site or 2) other laboratory evidence of B. anthracis infection based on at least two supportive laboratory tests. CDC defines a suspect case as 1) a clinically compatible case of illness without isolation of B. anthracis and no alternative diagnosis, but with laboratory evidence of B. anthracis by one supportive laboratory test or 2) a clinically compatible case of anthrax epidemiologically linked to a confirmed environmental exposure, but without corroborative laboratory evidence of B. anthracis infection.

CDC Telebriefings / Information

Telebriefings regarding CDC activities and the anthrax investigations will be conducted during the entire month of November, on Monday through Friday, from Noon - 12:45 PM, EST. The toll-free number for these briefings is 1-866-254-5942. For the latest update on CDC activities and on-going anthrax investigations visit or


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This page last updated November 4, 2001

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