Characteristics 43-year-old female, employed as postal worker (mail sorter)
Onset date October 15, 2001
Medical care date October 16, 2001
MMWR date 50 (43), Nov. 2, 2001
Location Hamilton Township mail center, New Jersey
Probable source Daschle or Leahy letters postmarked October 9
Disease type Inhalational anthrax
Details On October 15, a 43-year-old female postal worker who worked at a facility in which anthrax cases have been documented developed fever, headache, chills, and shortness of breath. She was treated with levofloxacin, but her symptoms progressed and she was admitted to a hospital on October 18. A chest radiograph indicated a right perihilar infiltrate and a small pleural effusion. She was started on multidrug therapy, including ciprofloxacin, which was changed to azithromycin after 24 hours. On admission, she was febrile and tachycardic. She had an elevated white blood cell (WBC) count of 11,000 with 14% bands. A CT scan on October 19 showed a right pleural effusion, perihilar consolidation, and mediastinal adenopathy. She subsequently had two thoracenteses that produced serosanguinous pleural fluid and a bronchoscopy that showed grossly edematous bronchi. Both pleural fluid and bronchial biopsy were positive for B. anthracis by IHC stain. She was discharged on October 23, 2001.

Click for clinical details (Emerging Inf Diseases)

Click for news account of un-named case (10/23/01)

Click for six-month follow-up of Jyotsna Patel (4/20/02)

Click for one-year follow-up of Jyotsna Patel (10/14/02)

Click for two-year follow-up of Jyotsna Patel's illness (9/18/03)

Click for follow-up of Jyotsna Patel nearly seven years later (8/07/08)

Death date Not applicable