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Isolated case of bioterrorism-related inhalational anthrax, New York City, 2001.
Holtz TH; Ackelsberg J; Kool JL; Rosselli R; Marfin A; Matte T; Beatrice ST; Heller MB; Hewett D; Moskin LC; Bunning ML; Layton M
Emerg Infect Dis 2003 Jun; 9(6):689-696
On October 31, 2001, in New York City, a 61-year-old female hospital employee who had acquired inhalational anthrax died after a 6-day illness. To determine sources of exposure and identify additional persons at risk, the New York City Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and law enforcement authorities conducted an extensive investigation, which included interviewing contacts, examining personal effects, summarizing patient's use of mass transit, conducting active case finding and surveillance near her residence and at her workplace, and collecting samples from co-workers and the environment. We cultured all specimens for Bacillus anthracis. We found no additional cases of cutaneous or inhalational anthrax. The route of exposure remains unknown. All environmental samples were negative for B. anthracis. This first case of inhalational anthrax during the 2001 outbreak with no apparent direct link to contaminated mail emphasizes the need for close coordination between public health and law enforcement agencies during bioterrorism-related investigations.
Infection-control; Infectious-diseases; Mortality-data; Biological-warfare-agents; Health-care-personnel; Sampling; Surveillance-programs; Exposure-assessment; Emergency-response; Employee-exposure; Disease-incidence
Timothy H. Holtz, Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, NCHSTP Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1600 Clifton Road, Mailstop E10, Atlanta, GA 30333
Issue of Publication
Emerging Infectious Diseases
CO; DC; GA; NY; WV
Page last reviewed: August 1, 2022Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division