Posted by William on May 24, 2011
Worries about “cross-contamination” within the postal system have grown with the two women’s cases, Fauci told a White House news conference yesterday, according to the AP.
Investigators are now asking, “Did they get infected from a piece of mail that went to their home?” he said yesterday. “That is being intensively investigated right now.”
But despite an intensive four-week investigation by the FBI and health experts, Attorney General John Ashcroft said today, “I have no progress to report” in identifying the culprits or preventing further attacks, AP reported.
“I think for the American people, it’s frightening, it’s scary,” conceded White House spokesman Fleischer.
The latest victims raised the number of confirmed anthrax cases to at least 17 nationwide since the bioterror campaign began early this month. The more-lethal inhalation form has hit 10 of them, killing four: Nguyen, two Washington, D.C., postal workers and an editor with a supermarket tabloid based in Florida. The rest have contracted the more treatable skin version, and survived.
New Jersey has five of the confirmed anthrax cases and one other suspected case; four of the five confirmed cases involve postal employees at either the Hamilton mail processing center or the West Trenton post office, the AP said.
In other developments, District of Columbia officials are urging postal workers at any area Postal Service facilities where environmental tests were positive for anthrax or where tests are still pending to get a 60-day supply of antibiotics before their 10-day supply runs out, according to CNN.
The anthrax scare has also prompted military officials to suspend holiday mail programs designed to boost the spirits of military personnel by showing that Americans care about them. Citing the “vulnerability of the postal system,” military postal officials yesterday halted the “Operation Dear Abby” and “Any Service Member” postal programs, CNN said.