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Update: Public Health Message Regarding Florida Anthrax Case

Last updated March 15, 2020

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

The ongoing investigation of anthrax in Florida has detected evidence that the bacterium that causes anthrax, (Bacillis anthracis) may be present in the building where the patient who died of anthrax worked.


Update:PublicHealthMessageRegardingFloridaAnthraxCase

TheongoinginvestigationofanthraxinFloridahasdetectedevidencethatthebacteriumthatcausesanthrax,(Bacillisanthracis)maybepresentinthebuildingwherethepatientwhodiedofanthraxworked.

B.anthraciswasidentifiedinonenasalsamplefromanotherworkerinthebuilding,whichsuggestsexposure.Nootherworkersareknowntohaveillnessconsistentwithanthrax.

OneofmanysamplescollectedfromtheworkplaceenvironmentcontainsB.anthracis.Finalresultsontheotherenvironmentalsampleswillnotbeavailableforseveraldays.Inthemeantime,publichealthofficials,incooperationwiththecompany,havesecuredthebuilding.

Thecurrentriskofanthraxamongemployeesandvisitorstothebuildingisextremelylow.However,asapreventivemeasure,publichealthofficialshavebeguntocontactpersonnelwhoworkedinthebuildingsinceAugust1,2001,toprovideantibiotics.Antibiotictreatmentbeforesymptomsoccurwillpreventanthrax.Theincubationperiodfromexposuretoonsetofillnesswithanthraxisusually1-7days,butmaybeaslongas60days.

Symptomsofinhalationalanthraxincludefever,muscleaches,andfatiguethatrapidlyprogresstoseveresystemicillness.Workerswhodevelopsuchsymptomswillbeadvisedtoseekimmediatemedicalattentionforfurtherevaluation.

AnthraxisNOTcontagiousfromonepersontoanother.Familymembersandcontactsofpersonswhoworkinorvisitedthebuildingarenotatriskandantibiotictherapyisnotrecommendedforthem.Othermembersofthecommunityarenotatrisk.Publichealthofficials,togetherwiththeFBI,arecontinuingtheinvestigation.

FormoreinformationregardingthispublichealthactioninFlorida,after7a.m.,Monday,October8,call:1800342-3557

Media:Floridacontact:561712-6400.

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CDCprotectspeople’shealthandsafetybypreventingandcontrollingdiseasesandinjuries;enhanceshealthdecisionsbyprovidingcredibleinformationoncriticalhealthissues;andpromoteshealthylivingthroughstrongpartnershipswithlocal,national,andinternationalorganizations.

References and Information Sources used for the Article:


Materials:


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