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Last Updated

13 Jan 2003

    Source: Editorial note. Update: Investigation of Bioterrorism-Related Inhalational Anthrax --Connecticut, 2001. MMWR 50(47);1029-1031 (November 30, 2001).

The source of exposure to B. anthracis for the 94-year-old CT resident remains unknown. The genetic characteristics of B. anthracis isolated from this patient links this case with the previous bioterrorism-related cases of anthrax. However, this patient differed from most previously identified cases in both epidemiologic characteristics and potential sources of exposure. The patient in CT had limited activity outside her home, had not visited a media company or postal facility, and had an onset of symptoms at least 3 weeks later than previously reported patients. In addition, one notable clinical finding was the absence of a pulmonary infiltrate, pleural effusion, or mediastinal widening on the admission chest radiograph.

Epidemiologic findings indicate that recent cases of inhalational anthrax most likely occurred from aerosols generated from opening a letter containing B. anthracis powder or from aerosols generated in processing a sealed letter containing B. anthracis powder at a postal facility. The most recent case in CT and a case of inhalational anthrax in the 61-year-old hospital stockroom worker in NYC did not have either exposure identified. Possible sources of B. anthracis under investigation include exposures inside and outside the home and mail that passed through contaminated mail facilities. The investigation by public health and law enforcement authorities to find the source of exposure continues and surveillance for new cases of bioterrorism-related anthrax is ongoing.

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