CNN: NYC baby has skin anthrax; also USPS FL mail sorter

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

http://www.cnn.com/2001/HEALTH/conditions/10/15/anthrax/

(CNN) -- The baby of an ABC news producer was diagnosed with a case of cutaneous (skin) anthrax, ABC News President David Westin announced Monday. The child had visited the offices of "World News Tonight" around September 28. The baby is expected to make a full recovery. No other employees have developed any symptoms of the disease. The news comes just hours after the Centers for Disease Control told CNN Monday that a mailroom employee at the Florida tabloid newspaper office where the first anthrax outbreak was discovered had been diagnosed with inhalation anthrax, the most serious form of the disease. Health officials had believed that Ernesto Blanco, 73, was exposed to the bacteria but not infected. Blanco was hospitalized for pneumonia earlier this month. Doctors tested him for anthrax exposure after learning that Bob Stevens, a photo editor at the tabloid The Sun, contracted the inhaled form of the bacteria. Stevens later died, the first such death in the United States since 1976. Blanco and Stevens both worked at the American Media Inc. building in Boca Raton, Florida.

Meanwhile, Florida health officials said Monday a small number of anthrax spores were discovered in a U.S. Postal Service mail-sorting facility that handled mail for American Media. The bacteria were found in a remote section of the building, which continued operations Monday even after the discovery was announced. The facility is not open to the public. All employees were undergoing testing to determine whether they have been exposed to the bacteria and prophylactic treatment with antibiotics, a CDC spokesman told CNN. The building was one of three tested in the area after the anthrax was first reported at American Media. "

.... portions deleted, see complete article on CNN online (See CNN link above.) then ... "Latest developments

Ninety offices of Planned Parenthood and at least 80 clinics of the National Abortion Federation across the United States have received envelopes containing unidentified powdery substances and letters with threatening language, according to spokesmen for the groups. Both groups support abortion rights and provide abortions in at least some of their offices.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service shut down mail processing at all of its offices Monday after suspicious packages were received at two INS facilities, the agency said. Three mailroom workers at a Burlington, Vermont, facility were taken to a hospital as a precaution after a powdery substance fell out of a small Fed-Ex package. Preliminary tests on the package and a letter received two days earlier were "inconclusive," the agency said. A hazardous materials team was called to a Providence, Rhode Island, facility to investigate a suspicious package from the United Arab Emirates.

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said police were being flooded with reports of suspicious packages and urged New Yorkers to remain calm. In less than eight hours Monday morning and early afternoon, police received 82 calls of suspicious packages or powder, and 24 packages were taken for testing, he said. So far, anthrax has not been detected in any of the packages.

The United Nations plans to change its mail-handling procedures after receiving two suspicious packages last week, officials said Monday. The first package was thrown away after an employee opened and found a white powdery substance. The woman tested negative for anthrax exposure. A second package, believed to contain powder, arrived Thursday and was sent to U.S. officials for testing. It also tested negative for anthrax.

Richard Butler, the former U.N. weapons inspector, pointed Monday to a possible Iraqi connection to the recent anthrax mailings, saying he did not believe terrorist groups themselves could have made the sometimes fatal bacteria. In an interview with CNN, Butler cautioned there has been no verification that Iraq had any role in the recent attacks, but he said the country is known to have produced anthrax. (Full story)

Bush plans to recommend that Congress allocate more than $1.5 billion in additional funds for the Department of Health and Human Services efforts to fight bioterrorism, bringing the amount devoted to the fight to more than $1.8 billion, the department said Sunday. The money would be used to stockpile medications, speed development of smallpox vaccine and improve federal, state and local preparedness.(Full story) "

-- slza (slzattas@tidalwave.net), October 15, 2001

Answers

This makes me wonder who these 'terrorist' are. TV networks and newspapers I can understand because of the fear factor. I have never heard of any threats against these places by the current crop of terroists. This has to be a pretty large organization to be sending out all these letters to so many different locations.

Ninety offices of Planned Parenthood and at least 80 clinics of the National Abortion Federation across the United States have received envelopes containing unidentified powdery substances and letters with threatening language, according to spokesmen for the groups. Both groups support abortion rights and provide abortions in at least some of their offices.

-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), October 15, 2001.


Seems to me rather likely that the mass mailings to the abortion providers are copy-cat crimes on the back of the current real anthrax letters turning up at media outlets and so forth. At least some (of more than 100 yesterday) of the threatening letters inside were supposedly signed "Army of God," a known signature for this type of stupidity, dating back to at least 1998.

This is not a new problem for Planned Parenthood et al, although I don't recall such a massive coordinated mailing "attack" before. (I say "attack" but so far there's *no* info that any real anthrax was used).

-- Andre Weltman (aweltman@state.pa.us), October 16, 2001.


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