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Epidemiologic investigations of bioterrorism-related anthrax, New Jersey, 2001.
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Emerg Infect Dis 2002 Oct; 8(10):1048-1055
At least four Bacillus anthracis-containing envelopes destined for New York City and Washington, D.C. were processed at the Trenton Processing and Distribution Center (PDC) on September 18 and October 9, 2001. When cutaneous anthrax was confirmed in a Trenton postal worker, the PDC was closed. Four cutaneous and two inhalational anthrax cases were identified. Five patients were hospitalized; none died. Four were PDC employees; the others handled or received mail processed there. Onset dates occurred in two clusters following envelope processing at the PDC. The attack rate among the 170 employees present when the B. anthracis-containing letters were sorted on October 9 was 1.2%. Of 137 PDC environmental samples, 57 (42%) were positive. Five (10%) of 50 local post offices each yielded one positive sample. Cutaneous or inhalational anthrax developed in four postal employees at a facility where B. anthracis-containing letters were processed. Cross-contaminated mail or equipment was the likely source of infection in two other case-patients with cutaneous anthrax.
Biological-warfare-agents; Infectious-diseases; Postal-employees; Case-studies; Environmental-contamination; Environmental-exposure; Occupational-exposure; Epidemiology; Disease-incidence; Control-methods; Disease-control; Disease-prevention; Disease-transmission
Issue of Publication
Emerging Infectious Diseases
NJ; OH; GA
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division