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CDC Update: Current case count, “Consumer Alert”, New York investigations, CDC field staff, and transcript available

Last updated March 15, 2020

Approved by: Subramanian Malaisamy MD, MRCP (UK), FCCP (USA)

Summary of Local, State, and Federal Confirmed Human Cases and Exposures


CDC Update: Current case count, “Consumer Alert”, New York investigations, CDC field staff, and transcript available

CDC confirmed cases of anthrax

Summary of Local, State, and Federal Confirmed Human Cases and Exposures

Case Status Florida New York City New Jersey Washington, DC Total

Confirmed 2 4 5 5 16

    Cutaneous 0 3 3 0  

    Inhalational 2 1 2 5  

Suspect 0 4 2 0 6

    Cutaneous 0 4 2 0  

    Inhalational 0 0 0 0  

Total Cases         22

There have been 4 deaths associated with inhalational anthrax.

CDC confirmed cases are based on a rigorous case definition which was published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) on October 19, 2001.  The MMWR is available on-line at:  http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5041a1.htm.

CDC defines a confirmed case of anthrax as 1) a clinically compatible case of cutaneous, inhalational, or gastrointestinal illness that is laboratory confirmed by isolation of B. anthracis from an affected tissue or site or 2) other laboratory evidence of B. anthracis infection based on at least two supportive laboratory tests.  CDC defines a suspect case as 1) a clinically compatible case of illness without isolation of B. anthracis and no alternative diagnosis, but with laboratory evidence of B. anthracis by one supportive laboratory test or 2) a clinically compatible case of anthrax epidemiologically linked to a confirmed environmental exposure, but without corroborative laboratory evidence of B. anthracis infection.

“Consumer Alert “ regarding antibiotics sold on-line

Consumers who are visiting Web sites and receiving e-mail claiming to sell Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) and other antibiotics to treat anthrax should consult a new “Consumer Alert” before they buy products online, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The Alert, "Offers to Treat Biological Threats: What You Need to Know," was produced by the FTC, in conjunction with CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The report is available online at www.ftc.gov/opa/2001/11/alert.htm

Update: New York anthrax investigations and WTC survey

The 61-year-old employee of Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital (MEETH) who contracted inhalation anthrax, died as a result of her illness. Thus far, all environmental samples from both MEETH, as well as the individual's home, have tested negative for the presence of anthrax.  At this point, the source of exposure to anthrax remains under investigation. As part of an on-going comprehensive epidemiological investigation, the New York City Department of Health, in collaboration with CDC, has interviewed over 250 co-workers and close contacts in an effort to establish a source of exposure. Further testing will be done at MEETH and in the individual's home. Results are not expected until later this week.

As a precautionary measure the Health Department, working with Lenox Hill Hospital, has made antibiotics available to over 1,100 individuals who work in, visited, or were treated at MEETH since October 11. Nasal swabs have been limited to those individuals who worked in the immediate area of the deceased. Of the 28 nasal swabs, none tested positive for anthrax.

The New York City Department of Health (DOH), in collaboration with CDC, is conducting a voluntary survey of lower Manhattan residents who have been affected by the World Trade Center disaster. DOH is administering this survey to address concerns and needs expressed by area residents pertaining to their mental and physical health. 

For more information see www.ci.nyc.ny.us/html/doh/html/new/new.html.

HHS/CDC staff deployment update (as of October 31, 2001)

Washington, D.C.

27 EIS Officers

18 Epidemiologists

15 Industrial Hygienists

  4 Laboratorians

  4 Media Specialists

  2 National Pharmaceutical Stockpile staff

  4 Nurses

10 Public Health Advisors

  5 Public Health Prevention Specialists

  1 Medical Officer

Trenton, N.J.

 7 EIS Officers

 5 Epidemiologists

 1 Industrial Hygienist

 1 Information Technology Specialist

 1 Media Specialist

 2 Public Health Advisors

New York City (Anthrax)

21 EIS Officers

 8 Epidemiologists

 4 Industrial Hygienists

 4 Laboratorians

 1 Media Specialist

 5 Public Health Advisors

1 Public Health Prevention Specialists

New York City (WTC)

 3 EIS Officers

 2 Industrial Hygienists

Phoenix, AZ

2 EIS Officers

1 Epidemiologist

West Palm Beach, FL

4 EIS Officers

3 Epidemiologists

1 Industrial Hygienist

1 Laboratorian

1 Media Specialist

1 Medical officer

1 Public Health Advisor

November 1, 2001, transcript available

The transcript for the November 1, 2001, telebriefing on the MMWR report on anthrax with Dr. Julie Gerberding is available online at www.cdc.gov/media/transcripts/t011101.htm.

For the latest update on CDC activities and on-going anthrax investigations visit www.bt.cdc.gov/ or www.cdc.gov/media/.

References and Information Sources used for the Article:


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Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: March 15, 2020
Last updated: March 15, 2020