New Hampshire Anthrax Event

2010 | December 1-19, 2010

In December 2009, a New Hampshire woman contracted gastrointestinal anthrax in a drumming event where animal-hide drums of multiple ages and origins were played.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services performed an initial qualitative environmental sampling at the event site for the presence of Bacillus anthracis spores, a bacterium that causes anthrax.

Three samples from the event site grew B. anthracis, and the isolates were sent to CDC for genotyping.

anthrax virus

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health also collaborated to develop and conduct wider, targeted, semi-quantitative environmental testing that would provide B. anthracis spore surface contamination data to characterize the extent and type of contamination (i.e., by surface contact or potential aerosolization).