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Last Updated

19 Dec 2002

Source: Newsday, November 2, 2001.

Third Anthrax Case at NY Post

More Anthrax Found on Postal Machines

By Vera Haller

City health officials have confirmed a third case of skin anthrax at the New York Post, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani announced today.

Giuliani said the Post employee was taking antibiotics and had not missed a day of work since discovering the lesion last week. He was expected to make a full recovery, the mayor added.

Giuliani, however, acknowledged that investigators were making little progress in their probe of how hospital worker Kathy Nguyen contracted a fatal case of inhalation anthrax.

He said all environmental testing from her Bronx apartment and the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, where she worked, had come back negative for anthrax.

"It's good news for the hospital, but from the point of view of the investigation, it just makes it more perplexing," Giuliani said.

Dennis Rivera, president of Local 1199, the hospital workers’ union, said today that the union would arrange and fund a funeral for Nguyen on Monday in the Bronx.

“She was a person who was loved and appreciated by her coworkers and neighbors,” Rivera said.

Since her case was confirmed, federal investigators have been scouring the Manhattan hospital and Nguyen's Bronx home to determine the source of the bacteria, but have had no success.

Post spokeswoman Nancy Haberman said the editorial page editor believed to have contracted the disease from the same anthrax-tainted letter blamed for the two other Post cases.

Mayor Giuliani said the employee, Mark Cunningham, noticed the lesion on his back on Oct. 23 after he had been going through old mail, some of which dated back to September.

His is the seventh case of skin anthrax in the city, all of them linked to news outlets. The other media outlets linked to skin anthrax cases are the three major television networks, CBS, NBC and ABC.

The newest anthrax case to hit the city was revealed as the U.S. Postal Service announced that it had found two more anthrax-contaminated machines at the Morgan Processing and Distribution Center in Manhattan.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was recommending a full 60-day course of antibiotics for some employees at the distribution facility. The Postal Service had been offering 10 days of medicine for about 7,000 workers.

New tests at the plant, which processes about 12.5 million pieces of mail a day, found that six mail-sorting machines and a dust-removing machine were contaminated with anthrax spores.

Four of the machines had been identified earlier, and the New York Metro Area Postal Union has filed a federal suit demanding that the vast building be closed.