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

November 21, 2001/6:00 PM, ET
Contact: CDC Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

Press Release

CDC Update: Connecticut Anthrax Case and Today's Telebriefing Transcript and Audio Clip

Connecticut Inhalation Anthrax Case Confirmed

CDC has confirmed a case of inhalational anthrax in Connecticut. CDC was contacted by the Connecticut Department of Public Health about a respiratory illness in a 94-year-old female which preliminary tests had indicated to be anthrax. CDC conducted PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing on specimens from the woman and confirmed anthrax. In addition to confirming the anthrax case, CDC initially sent an assessment team (5 persons) to Connecticut to assist state health department officials. Today, an additional 12 persons from CDC – including environmental health specialists, epidemiologists, EIS officers, and others – will be joining the team in Connecticut.

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

Case Status Florida NYC NJ D.C. CT Total
Confirmed 2 5 5 5 1 18
    Cutaneous 0 4 3 0 0  
    Inhalational 2 1 2 5 1  
Suspect 0 3 2 0   5
    Cutaneous 0 3 2 0    
    Inhalational 0 0 0 0    

There have been 5 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.

Today’s telebriefing transcript and audio clip

The transcript from today’s telebriefing (Minnesota knee surgery deaths) with Drs. Julie Gerberding and Dan Jernigan is available online. Today's briefing was also webcast and the audio clip is also available online. Both transcript and audio clip are accessible from

For the latest update on CDC activities and on-going anthrax investigations visit or


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This page last updated November 21, 2001

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