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October 23, 2001


Attention: Chief Executive Officer and Infection Control Practitioner

Due to the recent confirmation of several cases of human anthrax diagnosed among postal employees, the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are instituting enhanced surveillance for any previously undetected or potential future anthrax cases. Objectives of this enhanced surveillance include:

  • Identifying previous cases of human anthrax that occurred after September 11, 2001.
  • Identifying future cases of anthrax.

In conjunction with your hospital, our staff will work with you in the following three areas:

  • Reviewing records of patients who had BLOOD CULTURES or CEREBROSPINAL FLUID CULTURES performed at presentation and were admitted to an intensive care unit since September 11, 2001.
  • Reviewing the clinical findings of patients with microbiology laboratory results possibly indicating infection with Bacillus anthracis.
  • Reviewing records of emergency department visits for persons with unexplained respiratory failure.

We plan to contact the Infection Control Practitioner at your hospital on Tuesday, October 23, 2001 to implement this system.

Thank you for your willingness to collaborate with us in this important public health issue. If you have any questions or comments regarding this system, please contact Dr. Stephen Redd at (609) 588-3850.

Eddy Bresnitz, M.D.
State Epidemiologist / Assistant Commissioner
New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services

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Department of Health and Senior Services
P. O. Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

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