Inhalational anthrax outbreak among postal workers, Washington, D.C., 2001

Puneet K. Dewan, Alicia M. Fry, Kayla Laserson, Bruce C. Tierney, Conrad P. Quinn, James A. Hayslett, Laura N. Broyles, Andi Shane, Kevin L. Winthrop, Ivan Walks, Larry Siegel, Thomas Hales, Vera A. Semenova, Sandra Romero-Steiner, Cheryl Elie, Rima Khabbaz, Ali S. Khan, Rana A. Hajjeh, Anne Schuchat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In October 2001, four cases of inhalational anthrax occurred in workers in a Washington, D.C., mail facility that processed envelopes containing Bacillus anthracis spores. We reviewed the envelopes' paths and obtained exposure histories and nasal swab cultures from postal workers. Environmental sampling was performed. A sample of employees was assessed for antibody concentrations to B. anthracis protective antigen. Case-patients worked on nonoverlapping shifts throughout the facility, suggesting multiple aerosolization events. Environmental sampling showed diffuse contamination of the facility. Potential workplace exposures were similar for the case-patients and the sample of workers. All nasal swab cultures and serum antibody tests were negative. Available tools could not identify subgroups of employees at higher risk for exposure or disease. Prophylaxis was necessary for all employees. To protect postal workers against bioterrorism, measures to reduce the risk of occupational exposure are necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1066-1072
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Volume8
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2002

Fingerprint

Anthrax
Nose
Disease Outbreaks
Bioterrorism
Bacillus anthracis
Antibodies
Postal Service
Occupational Exposure
Spores
Workplace
Serum
anthrax toxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Dewan, P. K., Fry, A. M., Laserson, K., Tierney, B. C., Quinn, C. P., Hayslett, J. A., ... Schuchat, A. (2002). Inhalational anthrax outbreak among postal workers, Washington, D.C., 2001. Emerging infectious diseases, 8(10), 1066-1072. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid0810.020330

Inhalational anthrax outbreak among postal workers, Washington, D.C., 2001. / Dewan, Puneet K.; Fry, Alicia M.; Laserson, Kayla; Tierney, Bruce C.; Quinn, Conrad P.; Hayslett, James A.; Broyles, Laura N.; Shane, Andi; Winthrop, Kevin L.; Walks, Ivan; Siegel, Larry; Hales, Thomas; Semenova, Vera A.; Romero-Steiner, Sandra; Elie, Cheryl; Khabbaz, Rima; Khan, Ali S.; Hajjeh, Rana A.; Schuchat, Anne.

In: Emerging infectious diseases, Vol. 8, No. 10, 01.10.2002, p. 1066-1072.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dewan, PK, Fry, AM, Laserson, K, Tierney, BC, Quinn, CP, Hayslett, JA, Broyles, LN, Shane, A, Winthrop, KL, Walks, I, Siegel, L, Hales, T, Semenova, VA, Romero-Steiner, S, Elie, C, Khabbaz, R, Khan, AS, Hajjeh, RA & Schuchat, A 2002, 'Inhalational anthrax outbreak among postal workers, Washington, D.C., 2001', Emerging infectious diseases, vol. 8, no. 10, pp. 1066-1072. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid0810.020330
Dewan PK, Fry AM, Laserson K, Tierney BC, Quinn CP, Hayslett JA et al. Inhalational anthrax outbreak among postal workers, Washington, D.C., 2001. Emerging infectious diseases. 2002 Oct 1;8(10):1066-1072. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid0810.020330
Dewan, Puneet K. ; Fry, Alicia M. ; Laserson, Kayla ; Tierney, Bruce C. ; Quinn, Conrad P. ; Hayslett, James A. ; Broyles, Laura N. ; Shane, Andi ; Winthrop, Kevin L. ; Walks, Ivan ; Siegel, Larry ; Hales, Thomas ; Semenova, Vera A. ; Romero-Steiner, Sandra ; Elie, Cheryl ; Khabbaz, Rima ; Khan, Ali S. ; Hajjeh, Rana A. ; Schuchat, Anne. / Inhalational anthrax outbreak among postal workers, Washington, D.C., 2001. In: Emerging infectious diseases. 2002 ; Vol. 8, No. 10. pp. 1066-1072.
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