- The Washington Times - Monday, October 15, 2001

From combined dispatches
NEW YORK A police officer and two lab technicians involved in detecting the case of anthrax in an NBC employee are being treated with antibiotics for exposure to the bacteria, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said yesterday.
"When they were tested, minuscule spores were found," Mr. Giuliani said at a news conference.
The mayor emphasized that exposure to the spores does not necessarily mean infection and said the three are expected to be fine. Their identities were not released.
"They are being treated," he said. "This does not mean they have anthrax."
Mr. Giuliani said the police officer who retrieved an envelope containing anthrax at NBC on Friday was found to have the bacteria in his nose, as did one lab technician. Another lab technician was found to have a spore on her face, Mr. Giuliani said.
The three New York anthrax exposures bring to 12 the number of persons around the nation who either have anthrax or have been exposed to the bacteria.
The three in New York were exposed to the disease while working on the anthrax case in which the assistant to "NBC Nightly News" anchor Tom Brokaw, Erin O'Connor, 38, was exposed. Miss O'Connor was diagnosed with anthrax and is expected to fully recover.
A second "NBC Nightly News" employee, who has not been identified, was taking antibiotics for symptoms of anthrax, including a low-grade fever, swollen lymph nodes and a rash.
The anthrax scare began last week when a photo editor for the Sun supermarket tabloid in Boca Raton, Fla., died of the inhaled form of the bacteria, the first anthrax death in the United States in 25 years. The American Media Inc. building where Bob Stevens worked was sealed off after anthrax was found on his keyboard.
Two other employees turned out to have anthrax in their nasal passages, but neither has developed the disease. Both are taking antibiotics, and one has returned to work.
The company was notified Saturday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that five employees had been exposed to anthrax, said Gerald McKelvey, a spokesman for American Media.
In Nevada, Gov. Kenny Guinn said a third anthrax test on a letter sent from Malaysia to a Microsoft office in Reno came back positive, but added that the risk to public health was "very, very low."
Four of six Microsoft Corp. employees who touched the contaminated letter have been given a clean bill of health, a Nevada health official said yesterday.
Two of the six have not been cleared yet, and samples collected from them are being tested by the CDC in Atlanta, Barbara Hunt, an official with the Washoe, Nev., County Health Office, said during a news conference.
"We would continue to evaluate them for the presence of cutaneous anthrax" if the tests for inhalation anthrax are negative, she said.
Mr. Brokaw's assistant was exposed to the anthrax when she opened a threatening letter that contained the spores. The letter was mailed to Mr. Brokaw from Trenton, N.J., and postmarked on Sept. 18, one week after terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
When the letter arrived, a worker opened it, found a brown granular substance inside, and dumped much of it into the garbage, said Peter Nash, a postal inspector.
The worker gave the letter to Miss O'Connor. Miss O'Connor thought she had thrown away the letter, but remembered it Friday while being interviewed by authorities about a different threatening letter from Florida, Mr. Nash said.
Investigators then found the New Jersey letter on or inside a desk, Mr. Nash said.
Neal Shapiro, the network's news president, said Saturday that the letter had been placed among other hate letters sent to NBC that are investigated by the company. He declined comment on what the letter said.
Meanwhile, the mayor also said the police department has received more than 100 calls from people concerned about exposure, and that hospital emergency rooms have experienced numerous inquiries.
But he stressed: "None of them has proven to be anything else but negative."

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