Go to contents

Anthracnose Anxiety Spreads Across the U.S.

Posted October. 14, 2001 08:44,   


The anxiety of possible bio-terrorism is widespread across the U.S. A person who had tested positive for anthrax infection was found in New York, and a suspicious letter, which might have contained anthrax, was found in Reno, Nevada, on 12th.

Vice President Dick Cheney hinted the possible link between the terrorist group of Osama bin Laden and the anthrax cases.

Erin M. O`Connor (38, female), an employee at NBC news in New York, was confirmed positive for skin anthrax infection. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced on Friday that they are exploring the potential links between the other three anthrax cases in Florida and the New York incident.

Ms. O`Connor, an assistant to the NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, became infected after opening an envelope that was mailed to Mr. Brokaw on Sep. 25.

A returned mail to a Microsoft office in Reno, Nevada has tested for positive anthrax infection, and the area is on a full alert. The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the first test for anthrax proved positive, the results of the second test were negative, and the third test is being processed.

However, a letter to The New York Times that also contained a white powder has tested negative for anthrax infection.

Vice President Dick Cheney said, Friday night in an interview with PBS, ``We know that Osama bin Laden has over the years tried to acquire weapons of mass destruction, both biological and chemical weapons. We have to think about the links between the anthrax cases and Osama bin Laden.``

Mr. Cheney strongly suggested the possible connection between the anthrax incidents and the terrorist group of Osama bin Laden. He continued, ``Although there was not enough evidence to positively establish a connection, I am a man of suspicion.``

Spreading the anxiety of anthrax bacteria terror, people depleted supplies of antibiotics at drugstores and besieged their doctors. Tommy Thompson, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, said, ``The government has enough amount of antibiotics in stock. People should not overreact to this.``

The officials of the State and Defense Departments said on Friday that the American experts, who were helping the deconstruction of the former Soviet bio-chemistry weapon plant in Stefnogorsky, Kazakhstan, found the anthrax bacteria from the plant`s pipes, but were not affected by them.

Han Ki-Heung eligius@donga.com