- Four environmental samples collected from 4 of 49 postal facilities
that feed into the Route 130 Mail Processing Facility in Hamilton
Township have tested positive for the presence of anthrax, the Department
of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and the federal Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today.
four post offices, with one positive sample each, are: Princeton-Palmer
Square; Rocky Hill; Jackson Main (at 915 Bennett's Mill Road); and
Trenton Station E (1137 Hamilton Avenue). The positive environmental
samples were collected in non-public areas of the post offices.
conducted extensive sampling in these facilities, collecting a total
of 896 environmental samples," said Assistant Commissioner
and State Epidemiologist Eddy Bresnitz, MD. "Given that we
found just four isolated positive samples, this is most likely a
case of cross contamination from letters that came from the Hamilton
Mail Processing Facility in October. The risk of any workers at
these post offices developing anthrax disease at this point is extremely
a result of these findings, DHSS and CDC are recommending that the
area in each facility where the positive sample was collected be
cleaned this weekend. The agencies are not recommending that the
post offices be closed. They are also not recommending that employees
take prophylactic antibiotics. Workers at these 49 facilities who
began antibiotics as a precautionary measure can discontinue taking
them. Workers who continue to have health concerns have been advised
to speak with their health care provider or representatives of the
health services available to postal employees.
date, there have been no cases of cutaneous or inhalational anthrax
linked to these four post offices, and the most recent date of onset
of symptoms in any New Jersey case was now more than three weeks
ago," Dr. Bresnitz said.
samples reported out today were collected on November 3, after acting
Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco directed the department to sample
all local post offices in central New Jersey not previously sampled
that have their mail processed at the Hamilton facility. The 10
two-person teams that collected the samples also met with postal
employees before beginning their work to answer questions and address
results bring to seven the number of postal facilities in New Jersey
where anthrax has been detected. Anthrax spores had also been found
in a mail bin in one private business in Hamilton Township.
addition to samples collected at postal facilities, the state laboratory
has received more than 1,735 environmental samples, such as envelopes
and packages, collected by law enforcement agencies from across
the state. Testing on 1,666 of those specimens has been completed
and all are negative for anthrax. The lab conducts culture tests
on environmental samples and on clinical samples that meet established
has a bioterrorism phone line at the Emergency Operations Center
(EOC) at 609-538-6030 that is open between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.
until further notice. Since October 12, more than 4,350 calls have
been received at the EOC. Hearing-impaired residents with anthrax-related
concerns can contact the Department through the New Jersey Relay
Center by dialing either 711 or 1-800-852-7899. The Relay Center
will convey the caller's message to DHSS at the EOC. Information
is also available on the website at www.state.nj.us/health.
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NOTE: The 49 local post offices sampled include Allentown, Belle
Mead, Blawenburg, Bordentown, Chambersburg, Clarksburg, Cookstown,
Cranbury, Crosswicks, Cream Ridge, Florence, Fort Dix, Hightstown,
Hillsborough, Hopewell, Imlaystown, Jackson-Main, Jackson-Cassville,
Jamesburg, Kingston, Lambertville, Lawrenceville, McGuire AFB, Mercerville,
Monroe Township, New Brunswick, New Egypt, Pennington, Perrineville,
Plainsboro, Princeton Junction, Princeton-Palmer Square, Ringoes
(both old and new), Rocky Hill, Roebling, Roosevelt, Rosemount,
Sergeantsville, Skillman, Stockton, Titusville, Trenton-Circle Branch,
Trenton-Downtown, Trenton-Station E, Trenton-Station C, Windsor,
Wrightstown, and Yardville.
For Minimizing Risk From Cutaneous And Inhalation Anthrax For Mail