Third US postal worker diagnosed with anthrax

 

A postal worker has became the latest person to be confirmed by US health officials as suffering from anthrax.

The unnamed postal worker is the third mail worker from New Jersey to be diagnosed as suffering from the infection, and the ninth person in total in the US.

Two other postal workers in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, have already been confirmed as suffering from anthrax and their colleague is now being treated in hospital with antibiotics.

The latest diagnosis came after traces of anthrax were discovered at the House of Representatives in Washington.

Investigators have found evidence of the bacterium in offices that process mail for politicians. Hazardous materials teams are methodically working their way across Capitol Hill in the search for spores.

The finding in the Ford Office Building, a few blocks from the Capitol, brings to three the number of facilities believed to be tainted by anthrax and marks the first time evidence has been found on the House side of the complex, which dominates Washington.

Officials have already found anthrax in the office of Tom Daschle, leader of the majority Democrats in the Senate, where a letter containing the bacteria was opened last Monday, and in a mail centre in a building across the street.

The Washington spores have been compared with samples from the other two outbreak sites, in New York and Florida, and found to be "indistinguishable", pointing to a single source for the anthrax.

At least another 37 people have tested positive for exposure to anthrax in New York, Washington and Florida but have not developed the infection.

PA