3 Held In Connection With Anthrax Cases

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3 Held In Connection With Anthrax Cases

NYC City Hall Anthrax Letter May Have Been Cross-Contaminated

Posted: 8:05 a.m. EST November 5, 2001 Updated: 8:50 a.m. EST November 5, 2001

FBI agents have detained at least three people in New Jersey in the past week in connection with anthrax attacks.

The three live near a Trenton-area post office linked to anthrax letters. But investigators said they've found no direct links to the letters.

Traces Of Anthrax Found Inside Pentagon Post Office

There are reports that traces of anthrax were also found Saturday in the U.S. Post Office inside the Pentagon. It is not a mailroom, but a post office set up inside the building. The post office remained closed, and six employees began taking antibiotics.

Defense officials said two postal boxes at the have tested positive for anthrax.

They said one of them was rented by an unidentified member of the Navy, and the other one was unassigned.

The Pentagon said federal health experts took samples from the office at the end of October. Two of 17 samples taken tested positive for the bacteria.

A Pentagon statement said the office has been decontaminated and results of further tests were negative.

Details about the Navy service-member who had rented one of the boxes aren't available. No word on how much anthrax was found.

The post office is separate from the Defense Department's own mailroom, which has tested clean. Officials say they'll screen people with post office boxes at the facility. No word on how the screening will be done.

The facility gets its mail from the Brentwood Post Office in D.C., which has been closed because of the discovery of anthrax there.

Health officials said trace amounts of anthrax were also found in the mailroom of the Washington Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Letter To City Hall May Have Been Cross-Contaminated

Meanwhile, NBC said an anthrax-tainted package it sent to New York City Hall was likely cross-contaminated by a letter mailed to anchor Tom Brokaw.

A spokeswoman said she's not sure whether the package was mailed or delivered by other means. It contained a videotape sent as a courtesy to the mayor's chief of staff. The tape was sent from Brokaw's office. He'd received an anthrax-laced letter in September.

A health department spokeswoman said officials are "pretty confident the package was cross-contaminated."

It's not certain which part of the package was actually contaminated.

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said "there is no reason to be concerned."

Anthrax Found In Veterans Medical Center Mailroom

More anthrax has turned up in the nation's capital.

A mail room in the Veterans Affairs Medical Center has tested positive for trace amounts of the bacteria.

Veterans Affairs spokesman Phil Budahn said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the finding.

Five mailroom employees are taking antibiotics as a precaution. As for the center's 250 patients, Budahn said they're being closely watched. But he said there are no indications that patients -- or other staff -- have come into contact with anthrax.

The medical center also gets mail from the Brentwood facility.

Copyright 2001 by Channel2000.com.

-- PHO (owennos@bigfoot.com), November 05, 2001

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