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News Release

 
   PO 360
   Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

   For Release:
   October 25, 2001

George T. DiFerdinando, Jr., MD, MPH
Acting Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Laura Otterbourg or Marily Riley
(609) 984-7160


Antibiotics Recommended for Workers at the Carteret Postal Facility

Acting Commissioner Dr. George T. DiFerdinando Jr. said last evening at a town hall meeting in Ewing Township that he is recommending that postal workers at the Carteret Postal Facility begin a 10-day course of antibiotics as a precaution while the criminal and health investigation of the disease continues.

"We are making this recommendation because the Carteret Postal Facility is the receiving station for the mail coming from the Route 130 Mail Processing Facility in Hamilton Township to Washington, DC and New York," said Dr. DiFerdinando. "With all of the information we have at this point, we believe that the Senate, NBC News and New York Post letters transferred through this facility before going onto Washington, DC and New York."

Approximately 100 full-time and temporary workers are employed at Carteret. All workers were instructed to visit the United States Postal Service contract physician today to receive their 10-day supply of antibiotics.

Dr. DiFerdinando also said that environmental samples were taken on Wednesday at the Carteret facility. The results of the sampling, which included swipe and vacuum samples throughout the facility, are expected in the next few days.

"Because of the way the mail is handled in this facility, we believe that it is unlikely that the workers were exposed to anthrax," said Dr. DiFerdinando. "However, we are taking these measures simply as a precaution and to ensure that there is no contamination in the facility."

The Department has established a bioterrorism phone line at the Emergency Operations Center at 609-538-6030 that is open between 8 am and 11 pm until further notice. Since the phone line opened on October 12, 2001, about 1,500 calls have been received. From 11 p.m. to 8 a.m., the number is 609-392-2020. Information is also available on the website at www.state.nj.us/health.


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

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