Case By Case

“On the record”, the scope of the anthrax attack was limited to 22 victims and 22 postal facilities. Havoc in Washington D.C., however, was not summarized by the press. An effort to account for the range of property contamination is here: https://thirdring.wordpress.com/contamination-trail/

The CDC report states, “From October 4 to November 20, 2001, 22 cases of anthrax (11 inhalational, 11 cutaneous) were identified; 5 of the inhalational cases were fatal… In March 2002, an additional case of cutaneous anthrax was reported in a laboratory worker processing environmental samples of B. anthracis in support of the CDC investigation… Cases were identified in residents of seven states along the east coast of the United States: Connecticut, one case; Florida, two cases; Maryland, three; New Jersey, five; New York City, eight (includes a case in a New Jersey resident exposed in New York City); Pennsylvania, one; and Virginia, two… The mean duration between exposure and onset of symptoms of inhalational anthrax in these patients was 4.5 days (range 4–6)… Twelve (55%) patients (8 with inhalational and 4 with cutaneous disease) were mail handlers.. Six (27%) patients (one inhalational and five cutaneous cases) were media company employees…  No prior experience with mailed B. anthracis–positive, powder-containing envelopes is described in published reports http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/8/10/02-0353_article.htm

September 16, 2002 – “[The] survivors are of great scientific interest, especially those who had the inhaled form of the illness, because in the past nearly everyone with inhalation anthrax died, and doctors have almost no information about recovery. But only now is the government beginning to study their progress. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has drawn blood from survivors to measure changes in their immune systems, it has not conducted comprehensive follow-ups or physical examinations. The reason, officials say, include a lack of trained personnel, red tape and a surfeit of competing demands. Now another agency, the National Institutes of Health, has developed a plan to study the survivors. But some leading anthrax experts say that the work should have begun a year ago and that valuable information may have been lost in the meantime.” …”The oldest and the youngest victims of the attacks seem to be among the few who have recovered completely.” …”The National Institutes of Health study getting under way..is to draw on the patients’ medical records; the N.I.H. will supplement them with monthly blood tests, X-rays, CAT scans and other clinical examinations. Because of the memory lapses that some survivors are reporting, there will also be mental tests. The agency says it will probably pay the survivors’ expenses to travel to its campus in Bethesda, Md.”  http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/bioter/scienceslowlingeranthrax.html

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September 2001 Calendar http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/monthly.html?year=2001&month=9&country=1

October 2001 Calendar http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/monthly.html?year=2001&month=10&country=1

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                                                                                      New Jersey

N.J. Timeline: http://www.trentonmetroarealocal.com/history.html

According to the timeline, USPS maintenance mechanic Richard Morgano sought medical treatment on Sept.26. He “developed the oozing wounds typical of skin, or cutaneous, anthrax. He may have been the first victim of the attack…[he] cut his forearm while fixing a jammed machine on the night of Sept. 18, 2001, when the Hamilton center processed the first wave of anthrax letters…Mr. Morgano’s case is murky because early treatment with strong antibiotics by an alert physician cleared up his worst symptoms before the nation realized it was under attack. “There’s no question he had it,” said his doctor, Michael Dash. “But it probably will always be a suspected case.” Mr. Morgano is now on antidepressants and talking regularly to a psychiatrist. But he is haunted by fear of unknown complications. A persistent pain has developed in his chest…his girlfriend said Mr. Morgano was depressed. “Rich is not doing that good,” she said. “His personality changed. He’s very short-tempered.” The cloud of uncertainty, she added, is the worst part. “We can’t get answers from anybody.” http://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/16/national/16LIMB.html?todaysheadlines?pagewanted=1

The day after Morgano went for treatment, “September  27, 2001Letter Carrier, Teresa Heller, shows signs of lesions on arms.” Teresa Heller was described as “a prompt, friendly, pony-tailed woman” by the people to whom she delivered mail –a 560-stop route of homes, apartments and businesses. She picked up letters and packages from the West Trenton Post office in Ewing Township, New Jersey, the same post office where the NBC ‘Brokaw’ letter was mailed, but Ms. Heller did not work the day it was mailed, Sept. 18. She did work the next day, the 19th. Early in the FBI’s investigation, they were “led to theorize that she had picked up terrorist letters”. After her infection was known, the FBI walked her route and questioned people, only to abandon the strategy “within days”. They came to believe she had “become infected by mail that had picked up spores at Hamilton before being sent to..West Trenton”…At the Hamilton center,”Within three hours of each other on Sept.18, two of the terrorist letters were postmarked by the same machine..and then passed through two sorting machines, outbound to the editor of the New York Post and to NBC…Those sorting machines eventually tested positive for anthrax spores, the officials said, and they now believe the sorters might have transmitted spores to inbound mail” http://www.ph.ucla.edu/EPI/bioter/anthraxletterstrail.html  “20 tests taken at that West Trenton post office, as well as swab tests of mailboxes and mail collection bins at businesses and apartment buildings along her route have found no evidence of anthrax” http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/25/us/nation-challenged-investigation-investigation-churns-more-attacks-are-expected.html?pagewanted=1  If her notice of a lesion dates to Sept. 27, it was three weeks more until “Health officials announced Heller’s infection on Oct.18″…”[She] missed several days of work after noticing what she thought was a spider bite on her arm” http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/2001/10/23/2001-10-23_n_j_mailman_takes_ill-fated.html

“Another Hamilton employee, Patrick D. O’Donnell (case 12), who developed a severe case of cutaneous anthrax that put him in the hospital for a week, described symptoms similar to Mr. Morgano’s: fatigue, rage, depression, panic attacks. He said he was seeing a psychiatrist to avoid taking his anger out on anybody else, and he described himself as having gone from “Mr. Nice Guy” to “Mr. Bitter.” http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/bioter/scienceslowlingeranthrax.html

[still posting for New Jersey, case-by-case…]

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                                                                                     New York

“Index patient” Johanna Huden, at the New York Post, was recognized as the first case:   “…on September 21,..31-year-old editorial assistant for the New York Post, Johanna C. Huden, noticed a red bump on the middle finger of her right hand. Initially the bump, which looked much like a bug bite, wasn’t cause for concern…after a couple of days the bump began to swell and turn black, worrying Huden, who thought it was an infection. ” http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/terrorists_spies/terrorists/anthrax/index.html  ..”Johanna Huden had been to two emergency rooms and seen more than half a dozen doctors. Ultimately on October 1, a surgeon at New York University Medical Center had cut the dead skin out of her finger. Ms. Huden left the hospital with a large bandage on her hand but no better idea of what had made her sick.” http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/26/us/a-nation-challenged-the-anthrax-trail-tracking-bioterror-s-tangled-course.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rs  “Ms. Huden, who was thrust into a media maelstrom after the Post revealed on Oct. 19 that she had tested positive for cutaneous anthrax, has told newsroom colleagues that she felt exploited by the paper. Before the announcement, Post sources said, Ms. Huden had not been coming into work, and she showed up on Oct. 19 only because the paper wanted to be able to say she was back at her desk…   Inside the paper, the Post ran a first-person tirade by Ms. Huden blaming Osama Bin Laden for her medical ordeal, but Ms. Huden told other Post staffers that her original story was not nearly as vicious as the version that ran under her byline…A Post editor said that all of the media scrutiny had made Ms. Huden nervous. The editor said that she had told him, “I’m getting paranoid”….a Post spokesperson [said] “She worked with her senior editor on the copy, saw the front page, enjoyed it and laughed at it”. [The Post’s front page had an image of Huden holding up her bandaged middle-finger under the title “AnthraxThis”]  ..”She definitely thought the cover was in bad taste…she was pretty annoyed”. http://www.observer.com/node/45166

“[Huden was] an assistant to Editorial Page Editor Bob McManus, Huden’s duties included opening his mail at the newspaper’s offices at 1211 Sixth Ave. Huden…could not recall opening any suspicious mail, Post chairman Lachlan Murdoch said. Investigators do not know how she was infected, Murdoch said, but officials have given the tabloid’s office a clean bill of health. “They assure us there is no health risk to our staff” Murdoch said. [two late-October cutaneous cases erupted in the Post’s mailroom staff, just after the Brentwood postal worker deaths, and a few days after this story was published] …”after anthrax was discovered at NBC last week [reported as “a few spores”], she was tested for the bacteria and started taking Cipro as a precaution. A skin biopsy was negative, but a blood test came back positive Thursday night. Three other members of the Post staff and 11 other News Corp. employees complaining of flu-like symptoms also were tested” http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/2001/10/20/2001-10-20_disease_strikes_editor_s_ai.html “Eleven other employees who had flu-like symptoms ..[had] all 11 tests returned negative. Jana Telfer, a spokeswoman for the [CDC]..told CNN that health officials were not recommending prophylactic antibiotics to Post employees because enough time has passed that they are reasonably certain no other infections have occurred” http://edition.cnn.com/2001/HEALTH/conditions/10/20/anthrax.post/index.html
Cutaneous anthrax infection is given the same basic incubation parameters as the other forms: requiring one to seven days after exposure for a sign or symptom to appear, with an average early “usual” estimate of 48 hours following exposure:  http://www.usatoday.com/graphics/news/gra/cutaneous/frame.htm
[note: Johanna noticed her blister on Sept. 21; on the 22nd it burst. The earliest likely day for the Post’s anthrax letter to have arrived at the editor’s desk is Sept. 20. How did her blister develop so quickly, even if the letter was delivered to her mail stack at the earliest possible time, when everyone else infected took a minimum 4-6 days?  There is no public statement yet found about when the Post letter passed through the Morgan postal center. No one at the Post recalled this letter and it was never opened; presumably (?) thrown in the trash where two more employees contracted cutaneous cases more than four weeks later as they helped investigators search. The Post letter was found on October 19. Those two additional cases fit the general ‘incubation’ pattern seen in the other attack victims: 4 to 6 six days.]
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Post page editor, Mark Cunningham, “noticed a strange pimple Oct.23 (Tue.), after sifting through a bin of old mail at work…By Sunday..the pimple had turned gray” http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/2001/11/03/2001-11-03_3rd_post_anthrax_case_editor.html  “..Cunningham, Yale alumnus..[said] ‘How or when I came into touch with [the letter], I’ll probably never know’ …he went to the emergency room on the evening of Sunday, Oct. 28” http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/bioter/yalealumskinanthrax.html
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Post mailroom worker William Monagas avoided having his name in the press for a long time, but he was identified in this five-year anniversary article by Johanna Huden http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/Bioter/stillnoanswers.html
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The Post anthrax letter was found “and taken by a policeman from the New York Post’s office to the New York City Health Department Laboratory. During this transit, the policeman and two laboratory technicians became infected but did not develop the disease” http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/bioter/detect/antdetect_expcase22.html
>>Ed Lake’s “trash theory” says the policeman and lab techs were infected October 14 — five days before the letter was found, Ed? — “As a result of one such search, a police officer and two lab technicians were found to be contaminated with anthrax on October 14.” http://www.anthraxinvestigation.com/nguyen.html . The UCLA site must have misrepresented Ed Lake’s timeline. He was referring to the newly found NBC letter that had a “trace” amount described as “a few spores”. In all situations where trace amounts were reported, the official response remained “no problem..not enough to cause illness”– how could these people have presented with contamination? Were they the same “police officer and two lab technicians” dispatched to retrieve both the NBC and Post letters?
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The NBCTom Brokawletter – “That letter, which has been found to contain traces of anthrax, bore no return address and contained an unspecified threat and a brown granular substance, FBI officials said.” http://www.sptimes.com/News/101401/news_pf/Worldandnation/More_cases_of_exposur.shtml
Two women at NBC News were infected by the Tom Brokaw letter:  “clerical employee” Casey Chamberlain and Mr. Brokaw’s assistant, Erin O’Connor.
“In New York, investigators announced that they had located the source of the anthrax that sickened one, and perhaps two, NBC employees at Rockefeller Center: a letter mailed to the television network from Trenton on Sept. 18…
The New York Times reported yesterday that both letters sent to NBC, from Trenton and St. Petersburg, were turned over to the F.B.I. on Sept. 26. But Barry W. Mawn, the assistant director in charge of the F.B.I.’s New York office, said yesterday that the bureau did not learn of the Trenton letter until Friday [Oct 12], when investigators went to the network’s studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza following confirmation that an assistant to the NBC anchor Tom Brokaw had tested positive for anthrax. They picked it up and turned it over to [NYC] health officials who tested it and confirmed the presence of anthrax.  “Now we have identified the missing link, so to speak, the actual cause of the anthrax that created this whole situation,” said NBC’s chairman, Robert Wright. “So we are no longer dealing with an unknown time, date and place and that is very important…Several people handled the Trenton letter when it was first received at NBC, perhaps as early as Sept.19″ …[T]he woman who opened it, a clerical employee whom network and health officials would not identify..has had a fever, a rash and swollen lymph nodes….Officials at NBC have not been able to say definitively when the woman first opened the Trenton letter in the offices of NBC Nightly News on the third floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, only that it was between Sept.19 and Sept. 25…The president of NBC News, Neal Shapiro, said that when the clerical employee opened it, a brown granular substance fell out. The woman brushed much of the sand-like material into a trash can near her desk, he said, and the letter was eventually placed in another envelope and added to a stash of hate mail that the company collects and occasionally forwards to authorities”  http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/14/nyregion/14YORK.html?pagewanted=all?pagewanted=all
[note: the NBC chairman Robert Wright makes two significant assertions : (1)”we are no longer dealing with an unknown time, date, and place” and (2)”several people handled the Trenton letter..perhaps as early as Sept.19″. These statements are important because there are no reports confirming when the NBC letter was processed in NYC at the USPS Morgan center. There is only the knowledge that the letter was stamped by a Hamilton,N.J. sorting machine between 5-6pm on the evening of the 18th. The letters bound for Washington D.C., in the anthrax case, were not processed locally until 3 days after mailing.  In short, we don’t know the time or date of the NBC letter’s arrival. Suggesting it was received by company staff on Sept. 19 and delivered to the proper desk not only defies physical processing requirements, but it bolsters the notion that the worker over at the Post could have received her exposure at this early time. If the media brass were complicit in a cover-up, these statements make sense]
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 Casey Chamberlain:
“One of my jobs was opening Mr. Brokaw’s mail. There was one letter that looked as if it were written by a child. Something seemed unusual. I’d never seen a letter containing a granular substance. I mentioned the strange letter to my friends. Nothing happened for about 10 days…A week or so after I was sick, Mr. Brokaw’s assistant became sick…I had carried anthrax back on my clothes and had contaminated my home. I chose to have all of my things destroyed…I’ll have to see doctors the rest of my life..” http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14785359
[note: Casey Chamberlain is also an ‘exception’ among the victims, having extensive contamination reported in her home]
 Erin O’Connor:
“Ms. O’Connor’s case was diagnosed on Oct.9. The doctor, Richard P. Fried..said that on Oct. 1, after he first examined [her], he told her she might have an infected spider bite or Lyme disease, but he did not mention anthrax. “I just did not want to alarm her,” he said. Nevertheless, Dr. Fried said he took the precaution of prescribing Cipro… he re-examined [her] on Oct.3 and on Oct.8, when the lesion had developed into a black crust ..But Dr. Fried and the health department were perplexed because anthrax did not grow on the culture taken from the skin lesion..” http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/18/nyregion/a-nation-challenged-nbc-doctor-in-city-reported-anthrax-case-before-florida.html?pagewanted=1
[note: NBC officials commented that hoaxes were so prevalent that they often didn’t get reported. After September 11 and the widespread media speculation of a possibly imminent bioterror attack, we have to accept that NBC had no protocol for such a contingency, or that Ms. Chamberlain’s illness was regarded without concern of bioterror and her co-worker’s doctor did not consider mentioning ‘anthrax’ to his patient as a meaningful avenue to wider questioning, even by the patient herself ! After the national announcement of Bob Stevens’ anthrax illness on Oct.4, this no longer looks like incompetence.]
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ABC – “The youngest survivor (case 8) contracted cutaneous anthrax at the age of 7 months after his mother, a television producer, took him to visit her colleagues at the ABC studios in Manhattan. The infection, misdiagnosed for two weeks as a spider bite, became a systemic illness that caused a life-threatening blood disorder and kidney failure. The baby recovered fully, but his mother said doctors had cautioned her that kidney problems could in theory develop later, because the illness was so severe. She added that the C.D.C. had shown little interest in his recovery, which surprised her because so little is known about the course of anthrax on such young children” http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/bioter/scienceslowlingeranthrax.html
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[Oct.20] “In New York, police investigated five suspicious substances in the subways by late afternoon –four were immediately ruled harmless. Police took one sample of powder from a stairwell at the E. 33rd St. station on the Lexington Ave. line for testing by the city Health Department. The No. 4, 5, and 6 trains were suspended in both directions between Grand Central Terminal and 33rd St.” http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/2001/10/20/2001-10-20_disease_strikes_editor_s_ass.html
Kathy Nguyen  “rode the No.6  Lexington Avenue subway almost daily” to and from her Manhattan job as a hospital-supply clerk. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol9no6/pdfs/02-0668.pdf
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Kathy Nguyen’s case:
 [New York Times, April 2, 2002] “When Kathy T. Nguyen died of inhalation anthrax in New York on Oct. 31, the police and medical investigators were quickly deployed to find the source of the spores that had infected her. They interviewed 232 co-workers, 27 neighbors and 35 acquaintances in an effort to reconstruct her final two months. They searched her apartment and swabbed surfaces there and in her workplace and the subway stations she used. They vacuumed her clothes in search of spores. They used her subway fare card to trace her path around the city, studied her phone records and inspected her usual laundry, post office and grocery store. They never found a single spore or any other clue to how Ms. Nguyen became infected.”
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Sixty-one year old ‘Kathy’ Nguyen lived alone in her Bronx apartment. She was quiet and “nice”, said her neighbors. Twenty-five years before, she came from Vietnam to start a new life. A neighbor mentioned a husband and a son, but didn’t say more or if she knew where they might be. For 12 years, Kathy Nguyen rode the subway to the Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat hospital where her job there required loading a cart full of supplies from the basement and pushing it around and between the floors, restocking shelves and cabinets. At the time of her critical illness, reporters emphasized that the stockroom had once been the mailroom, but Nguyen had no known contact with the hospital’s mail.
   The 100-person investigative team that focused on Ms. Nguyen’s case after her confirmed diagnosis Oct.28-29, took 621 samples searching for the route of exposure; all “tested negative for B. anthracis by culture and PCR”. In a theory of cross-contaminated mail exposure, the nearest “Oct 9 Trenton” letter was delivered to a commercial property two blocks from her home. No one had saved a letter, no one had been sick or absent, and “all environmental samples were negative”. According to the CDC, Ms. Nguyen was “the first and only case of inhalational anthrax in NYC during the 2001 anthrax outbreak….Enhanced surveillance in NYC hospitals, the U.S. Postal Service, and emergency departments in NYC have continued since 2001 to 2003. No further cases of anthrax have been identified in NYC”
   The investigating health professionals made a note regarding the ‘cross-contamination of mail’ theory –a theory in both Ms. Nguyen and Ottilie Lundgren’s cases where an outside source of cross-contamination could have infected them, or what one spokesman called ‘triple cross-contamination’: “More cases..might be expected if cross-contaminated mail were the mechanism of transmission [but] we also found no [additional] evidence of inhalational anthrax cases in the areas where the most heavily contaminated postal..centers were located in Washington D.C. and New Jersey….Why cases that might have been caused by cross-contaminated mail did not occur remains unclear…millions of letters might have had low-level contamination based on the positive environmental findings in numerous postal facilities” http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol9no6/pdfs/02-0668.pdf

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                                                                                         Florida

Bob Stevens case: (to be posted; see The First Victim)

Ernie Blanco’s case:
Mr. Blanco did not feel well on (Monday) Sept. 24, a day before the ‘second’ letter could have been opened. By Friday the 28th, he was too sick to stay at work and a caring security guard drove him home to Miami.
This is the most complete published account detailing what Blanco experienced, from the Palm Beach Post:
[After Bob Stevens death]…Doctors thought he might have anthrax, but they weren’t sure. The family worried Ernie might die before anybody figured it out…
…”A lot of people have heard about his 23 days in the hospital, where he popped in and out of intensive care, FBI agents lingering at his door, a fake name assigned to his bed number to fool the press…
…At the hospital, down the long, rose-colored halls, his stretcher traveled, and he was on it, but not, as he would later say, “with it.”…Down in intensive care, where they put him when things got really bad, agents for the FBI wandered in and out, waiting for the 73-year-old patient to wake up for an interview. He didn’t know much, of course. Didn’t know how this thing happened to him. Couldn’t identify the piece of mail that brought him here, to death’s door, as a nation watched.  …Blanco, a former law student and accountant in Cuba who fled after Castro took over, is the kind of guy people immediately take to. He is friendly, boyish – even in his 70s…  This was Ernie Blanco: A really, really nice, ordinary guy….

He first landed at Cedars Medical Center in downtown Miami on Oct. 1, a Monday, at his wife Elda’s urging. He was feverish, exhausted and had a terrible cough. On and off for the past week, he had felt too sick to work. Elda worried he had the West Nile virus…  They started him on intravenous drugs, but he did not get better…[Blanco’s doctor] Omenaca thought Blanco had pneumonia, too, but after several days of treatment, “I began to suspect.”  It might be something more complicated….And then, on Oct. 4….hospital staffers received an interesting phone call..from Daniel Rotstein, a senior vice president of human resources and administration at American Media Inc…

This is the thing Rotstein wanted to tell Cedars doctors: …Stevens and Blanco worked at the same place – with Rotstein, at American Media…Rotstein didn’t know for sure, but he thought he might be on to something. He had heard the two patients had similar symptoms…”It was Thursday night, maybe 11:30 or almost midnight. I was just trying to get hold of people to make sure they knew about Bob. I asked for the head nurse on his floor. I spoke to somebody there and tried to explain and said call me back. They didn’t. I called again and asked for an infectious disease nurse, and at that point a nurse did call me back.” …

On the night of The Miracle Call, Omenaca, 41, a hard-working doctor who grew up in Spain, rushed back to the hospital to check on his patient. He did not know too much about anthrax – not many people did…He confirmed that Stevens and Blanco worked together, and then, “one minute later,” by intravenous drip, he started his patient on ciprofloxacin. “Cipro.” The anthrax drug.   …Several things happened next.  Doctors ordered a nasal swab and flew it to Atlanta, so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal agency in charge of controlling communicable diseases, could examine the sample for any spores that would indicate exposure to anthrax. That was Oct. 5…On Oct. 6, Blanco got worse. His blood pressure plummeted, and he went into shock. He had a high fever and needed a mechanical respirator to breathe. Doctors moved him to intensive care….

Now, Omenaca was baffled. Certain important tests that often point to an anthrax diagnosis were turning up negative. For one thing, his blood tested negative for the germ. For another, Blanco lacked what was considered by many to be a classic sign of the disease – a widening of the chest cavity, visible in an X-ray, caused by swollen lymph nodes in the mediastinum, between the breast bone and the spine. Blanco’s X-ray showed no such widening, “so at that point, I said maybe we are dealing with something else,” Omenaca said.  …the case wasn’t making a lot of sense….and then, on Oct. 7, the nasal swab came back. Positive. Around the hospital, news spread fast…The press was calling. The FBI was down. The CDC was down. The Health Department was down.  And Ernie was down.  …Omenaca told the family he now felt certain that Blanco had anthrax. He didn’t yet have all the test results that would confirm it, but it was more than a  hunch. The doctors from the CDC, however, weren’t so sure. Over a number of days, they stuck with the pneumonia diagnosis, and that perplexed [daughter] Maria Orth.

…And then, on Oct. 9…Judy Marty, the assistant principal, decided to buy her new car. In she went to finance director Willie Orth’s office. Judy Marty told Willie Orth about her daughter – Dr. Aileen Marty. She is a Navy commander and an associate professor of emerging infections and pathology with the F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine, part of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. She teaches a year-long course in weapons of mass destruction. She is a member of the Homeland Defense Committee, appointed on Sept. 28 by retired Admiral James Zimble. On anthrax, she is an expert…

Down at Cedars, Blanco..was improving, although doctors worried about the buildup of fluid in his lungs, for which he would eventually need surgery. But the Orths and all of Blanco’s other close family members..worried. They worried that the treatment could get off track if the CDC didn’t commit to the anthrax diagnosis. “Aileen was an angel,” Maria Orth says. “Every decision I made was based on Omenaca and Aileen Marty’s opinion.”   From a distance, the Navy commander counseled the family. She talked to other doctors, and, she says, to the CDC. She had many long conversations with Omenaca, told him about the old anthrax cases she once studied. She faxed him the famous anthrax-monkey studies. She even put Omenaca in touch with Col. Arthur Friedlander, senior military research scientist at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md. – and a world expert on anthrax.

…She knew about more than the 18 U.S. cases documented last century. She had studied old cases from around the world, through what is now called the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, which has a warehouse full of old tissue samples for research in Maryland. The old cases had taught her something, she says.  An anthrax patient will not necessarily have a widened chest on X-ray. “It’s only typical in 60 percent of the cases. Modern literature talks so heavily about it, but it doesn’t have to happen.”Which could explain Ernie Blanco’s case a bit better….On Oct. 15, the CDC made an announcement. More tests had come back…the diagnosis finally became official: Ernie Blanco had anthrax. Not just the exposure. The disease.”  http://www.highschooljournalism.org/students/ask_a_pro/article.cfm?articleId=167

>>On Oct 16, Blanco’s condition is reported: “his symptoms were not typical of inhalational anthrax, and tests of his sputum and chest fluid were negative. But he was treated as a precaution, and later tests, including polymerase chain reaction, indicated inhalational anthrax.”

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                                                                               Washington D.C.

Four inhalation cases: (to be posted here; see the Washington DC page)

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                                                                                      Connecticut

Ottilie Lundgren’s case:

“HARTFORD, Nov 30 – In their first investigative break, state officials said today that a trace amount of anthrax had been discovered on a letter delivered to a family living one mile from the home of the 94-year-old woman who died of inhalation anthrax last week.  The letter, received by a family in Seymour, Conn., in early October, was processed in a New Jersey mail center within 15 seconds of the contaminated letters sent to two United States senators, the officials said.  Those letters are believed to have played a role in the deaths of at least two people and the sickening of a handful of others… it bolsters the dominant theory of investigators that anthrax-contaminated mail processed in the postal center in Hamilton, N.J., may have played a role in the Connecticut woman’s death.
   The finding, announced here at a news conference by Gov. John G. Rowland, is also forcing health officials to ever more seriously consider the possibility that a person can contract the deadly form of the disease from a tiny amount of spores on letters that merely came in contact with the powerfully poisoned letters sent in early October to Senators Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont and Tom Daschle of South Dakota.
  .. And health and postal officials said today that they were coming to believe that anthrax spores might move from letter to letter –that, for instance, a letter contaminated by a Daschle or Leahy letter might then contaminate others, and that such small traces of the bacteria could prove deadly for an aging person or someone vulnerable to infection… The authorities said that no one in the Seymour, Conn., family that received the tainted letter had become ill… The finding of the single anthrax spore comes after more than a week of widespread testing in and around Oxford, Conn., where Ottilie W. Lundgren lived until her death from inhalation anthrax on Nov.21. Seymour is adjacent to Oxford… When Mrs. Lundgren died, postal officials checked to see if she had received mail that had moved through the New Jersey center. The available information suggested that she had not, but postal workers found that a letter sent to nearby Seymour had gone through the processing center within 15 seconds of the Leahy letter. After several days and a number of searches of the family’s house in Seymour, the letter was found, and it tested positive.
…Postal officials said they had tested postal buildings around the country after they determined where the hundreds of letters that passed through the New Jersey center in close proximity to the Leahy and Daschle letters had been sent. The officials said that 22 centers tested positive for anthrax, although the post office in Seymour did not.
…The spore of anthrax found on the Seymour letter — a personal letter delivered in October– is not enough to make anyone ill, said Dr. Joxel Garcia, the Connecticut public health commissioner. But its presence lends credence to the growing suspicion among state and federal officials that Mrs. Lundgren, because of her advanced age, could have been killed by a fraction of the 8,000 to 10,000 spores that epidemiologists say are necessary to infect the average person….Governor Rowland said at the news conference… “We have no reason to believe that anyone else is going to be infected,” he said.”
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Nov 13 –*Ottilie Lundgren, Oxford, Conn. first fell ill;  she died Nov 21 “six days after she went to the hospital complaining of respiratory problems”  http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0111/23/lt.21.html;
a single piece of  ’spore’ mail is found in late November in the next town (Seymour) when by chance the elderly next-door neighbor of the Farkas family died of heart failure from something pneumonia-like and the investigators tested his home and neighbors, turning up one positive envelope –less than 2 miles from Mrs. Lundgren –processed within seconds after the Leahy letter… “investigators were able to find a likely mail connection by tracking 300 letters that passed through postal sorting machines along with the Leahy letter…The most confusing aspect of the mail theory remains the fact that the Farkas family has shown no symptoms of illness and tested negative in nasal swab tests” http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/2001/12/01/2001-12-01_anthrax_on_conn__letter_mail.html
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Dec 1, 2001 — “Investigators have found a trace of anthrax bacteria on the outside of a letter sent to a residence in Seymour, Conn., about 1½ miles from the home of an elderly widow who mysteriously died of the disease last week….The newly discovered Seymour letter — a business letter sent to an estate liquidator who works from home — was postmarked in Trenton, N.J., and dated Oct. 9 — the same day that letters containing billions of deadly spores were mailed to Sens. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) and Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.)….Joxel Garcia, Connecticut’s public health commissioner, emphasized that the Seymour letter bore only the slightest contamination. “Very, very small amounts — one colony,” he said….On the reverse side of most mail, a machine prints a faint orange bar that reveals the date, time, location and machine that sorted that piece of mail.Then an automated sorter scans the destination information for each piece into a computer. It is that computer file that led investigators to 88 Great Hill Road in Seymour, home of John S. Farkas, 53.”  http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/bioter/anthraxtraceconn.html
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Who was John S. Farkas?
Jack Farkas, art dealer : http://www.newcenturyartists.org.artists/JackFarkas.html , owner of Farkas and Fleischman Estate Fine Art with this website, www.estatefineart.com; exhibitor at a NYC Chelsea district gallery at 530 West 25th St., which shares an address with Agora Gallery http://www.agora-gallery.com/
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