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CDC Update for Ongoing Anthrax Investigations

Last updated March 15, 2020

Approved by: Lester Fahrner, MD

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


CDC Update for Ongoing Anthrax Investigations

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 3 2 0 5

    Cutaneous 0 3 2 0  

    Inhalational 0 0 0 0  

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.

Video and transcript available in Spanish

Dr. Jeffrey Koplan, Director, CDC, provides information about anthrax . Topics include: risk of anthrax exposure, antibiotics, anthrax symptoms, suspicious mail, and CDC's role in the investigation. Both the video and transcript are available online at www.cdc.gov/spanish/bt/default.htm.

Halloween Safety

There are many things you can do to help ensure that your child has a safe and happy Halloween. The FDA has put together a list of recommendations that may reduce risks associated with the tampering of food and candy. These recommendations can be found online at www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/kids/candyandtreats.html. CDC also provides many useful tips for other areas of Halloween safety at www.cdc.gov/ncipc/duip/spotlite/choking.htm.

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

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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