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FOR RELEASE: November 1, 2001
CONTACT: Dick Gunn
405/271-5601

Media Advisory:
Bioterrorism and Anthrax Issues

Bioterrorism and Anthrax Daily Update 11/1/01:

  • Results from environmental sampling conducted by a contractor for the U.S. Postal Service Maintenance Technical Support Center (MTSC) in Norman indicate all sampling results were negative for anthrax.
  • As of 1 p.m. this afternoon, the Public Health Laboratory of the Oklahoma State Department of Health had performed testing on 428 environmental samples for the presence of anthrax or biologic agents. All have tested negative for biologic contamination.
  • The Oklahoma State Department of Health has received some inquiries about anthrax home test kits. At this time, we have received no official recommendation from federal or scientific sources to confirm the accuracy of such tests.
  • As of noon today, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed nationally 16 cases of anthrax, including 6 cutaneous, or skin, anthrax, and 10 cases of inhalational anthrax. Six suspect cases are being followed. There have been four deaths associated with inhalational anthrax. All cases reported have come from Florida, New York City, New Jersey, or Washington, D.C.
  • The Oklahoma State Department of Health has received updated information from the Centers for Disease Control on recognizing and handling suspicious packages and envelopes, as well as worksite protection recommendations. Both are available on the Oklahoma State Department of Health's Web site, as well as other information concerning anthrax and biological agents updated daily: http://www.health.state.ok.us/program/cdd/anthrax/anthrax.htm.

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