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News Release

 
   PO 360
   Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

   For Release:
   October 28, 2001

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

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

  [NOTE: REVISED PRESS RELEASE WITH REVISIONS IN BOLDFACE.]

Anthrax Investigation Update in New Jersey

Following is a listing of all environmental sampling tests conducted by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and crime scene sampling by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI):

Postal Facility Organization Results
Cartaret Facility DHSS and CDC All 14 samples taken Oct. 24 are negative for anthrax through final testing.
Downtown Station on Montgomery St., Trenton
FBI
All 11 samples taken to date are negative for anthrax through final testing.
Princeton Main, West Windsor

DHSS & CDC


FBI

23 samples taken Oct. 27 are preliminary negative to date.

23 samples taken Oct. 27 are preliminary negative to date.

Route 130 Mail Processing Facility, Hamilton Township
DHSS, CDC & FBI
34 out of 102 samples taken are positive for anthrax through final testing. The DHSS collected 20 samples on Oct 18 in the public areas - all are negative. Also on Oct. 18, the FBI took 23 samples (14 are positive). The DHSS and CDC team took 59 samples (20 are positive) on Oct. 21.
West Trenton facility, Ewing Twp.

DHSS & CDC


FBI

All 22 samples taken Oct. 25 are negative for anthrax through final testing.

All 20 samples taken Oct. 19 and analyzed at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease are preliminary negative for anthrax to date.

West Trenton facility, Ewing Twp. (areas outside the facility)
FBI
All 15 samples taken Oct. 23 by the FBI are negative for anthrax through final testing
 

A physician with Capital Health Systems is reporting a preliminary positive nasal swab result on a Trenton firefighter. At this time, the DHSS and CDC do not consider this patient to be possible case of inhalational anthrax. The firefighter is doing well, with the exception of a slight cough. However, the nasal swab test has been forwarded to the State's Public Health Laboratory for confirmation.

Following is an update the condition of postal workers with anthrax: Note that the CDC defines a confirmed case of anthrax as 1) a clinically compatible case of cutaneous, inhalational, or gastrointestinal illness that is laboratory confirmed by isolation of B. anthracis from an affected tissue or site or 2) other laboratory evidence of B. anthracis infection based on at least two supportive laboratory tests. A suspected case is defined as 1) a clinically compatible case of illness without isolation of B. anthracis and no alternative diagnosis, but with laboratory evidence of B. anthracis by one supportive laboratory test or 2) a clinically compatible case of anthrax epidemiologically linked to a confirmed environmental exposure, but without corroborative laboratory evidence of B. anthracis infection.

Patients Patient Status Conditions
West Trenton Postal Worker with Cutaneous Anthrax Confirmed by CDC on Oct. 18 Recovering
Route 130 Hamilton Mail Processing Facility Worker with Cutaneous Anthrax Listed as Suspected by CDC on Oct. 18 Recovering
Route 130 Hamilton Mail Processing Facility Worker with Cutaneous Anthrax Listed as confirmed on Oct. 19 by Pennsylvania Department of Health Recovering
Route 130 Hamilton Mail Processing Facility Worker with Inhalational Anthrax Confirmed Oct. 28 by CDC - went today from suspected to confirmed Clinically improving
Route 130 Mail Hamilton Processing Facility Worker with Inhalational Anthrax Listed as suspected on Oct. 25 by CDC (additional results pending) Discharged from hospital and doing well

All but 60 of the approximately 1,200 postal workers from the Route 130 Mail Processing Center in Hamilton Township who initially visited the occupational health clinic at Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Center at Hamilton have returned to receive an antibiotic re-fill according to hospital administrators.

The DHSS, in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and St. Francis Medical Center, opened today a clinic in the Crean Hall Auditorium in the School of Nursing at St. Francis Medical Center on 601 Hamilton Avenue in Trenton. The clinic will continue through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. The clinic is providing antibiotic treatment for all people who went into the non-public workplace areas of the Route 130 Hamilton Mail Processing Facility where bulk mail is picked up. Sixty days of antibiotic treatment are recommended to all postal workers and persons going into the workplace areas of the Hamilton facility since September 18 even if they have received a negative nasal swab result.

The Department has 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. 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 www.state.nj.us/health.

As of today, the state laboratory has received more than 1,151 environmental samples, such as envelopes and packages, collected by law enforcement agencies from across the state. Testing on 640 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.


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

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