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News Release

   PO 360
   Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

   For Release:
   October 27, 2001

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

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

Anthrax Investigation Update in New Jersey

  • To date, all environmental sampling tests conducted by the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the West Trenton Postal facility and the Cartaret Postal Facility show no growth for anthrax.

  • Acting Commissioner Dr. George T. DiFerdinando, Jr. encourages all workers from the Hamilton and West Trenton facilities to continue a 60-day antibiotic treatment regimen, even if they received negative swab results. Two of the suspected inhalational cases had negative swab tests. In addition, contractors and vendors to the Hamilton facility should begin a 60-day antibiotic treatment regimen.

  • The second worker described by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as a suspected case of inhalational anthrax, has improved and is at home. The first worker described as suspected case remains in serious condition but has slightly improved. Both are receiving antibiotic treatment. The Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is awaiting additional lab results from CDC on these two employees from the Route 130 Mail Processing Center in Hamilton Township.

  • As of today, the state laboratory has received more than 1,086 environmental samples, such as envelopes and packages, collected by law enforcement agencies from across the state. Testing on 506 of those specimens has been completed and all are negative for anthrax. The lab conducts preliminary (gram/spore stain) tests and culture tests on environmental samples and on clinical samples that meet established testing protocols.
  • 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. (The EOC has received 2,800 calls since opening on October 12th.) Hearing-impaired residents with anthrax-related concerns can contact the New Jersey Relay Center by dialing either 711 or 1-800- 852-7899.The Relay Center will convey the message to DHSS at 609-538-6030. Information is also available on the website at

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

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