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  Timeline of Anthrax Outbreak

The Associated Press
Friday, Oct. 26, 2001; 5:44 p.m. EDT

A chronology of the anthrax outbreak to date.

Sept. 18: Letters postmarked in Trenton, N.J.; sent to New York Post and NBC anchor Tom Brokaw. They later test positive for anthrax.

Sept. 22: Editorial page assistant at New York Post who opens letters to the editor notices blister on her finger. Johanna Huden later tests positive for skin form of anthrax, more treatable form of disease.

Sept. 26: Unidentified maintenance worker at Trenton regional post office in Hamilton, N.J., visits physician to have lesion on arm treated.

Sept. 27: Teresa Heller, letter carrier at West Trenton post office, develops lesion on her arm.

Sept. 28: Erin O'Connor, assistant to NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, notices a lesion.

Sept. 30: Bob Stevens, photo editor at supermarket tabloid The Sun in Boca Raton, Fla., starts to feel ill.

Oct. 1: Ernesto Blanco, mailroom employee at American Media Inc., publisher of The Sun, admitted to hospital with heart problems.

–O'Connor begins taking Cipro.

Oct. 2: Stevens admitted to hospital.

Oct. 3: In New Jersey, Heller is hospitalized and biopsy is performed.

Oct. 4: Authorities confirm Stevens has inhaled form of anthrax, most deadly form of disease.

–Claire Fletcher, assistant to CBS News anchor Dan Rather, begins taking penicillin after visiting doctor. Later, she's tested for anthrax after NBC case becomes public.

Oct. 5: Stevens dies. First U.S. death from inhaled anthrax since 1976.

Oct. 9: Letter postmarked in Trenton, N.J.; sent to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. It later tests positive for anthrax.

Oct. 12: Officials announce O'Connor at NBC developed skin anthrax after opening letter.

Oct. 14: Letter containing anthrax opened in Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle's office. Daschle's office quarantined.

Oct. 15: Officials say infant son of ABC News producer in New York developed skin anthrax. The baby, believed to have visited newsroom on Sept. 28, is taking antibiotics and expected to recover.

Oct. 16: Twelve Senate offices closed; hundreds of staffers get tests.

Oct. 17: Thirty-one people at U.S. Capitol test positive for exposure to anthrax, officials say. Later, more complete tests show only 28 actually exposed.

–House shuts down for testing. Senate stays open two more days.

–New York Gov. George Pataki's Manhattan office evacuated after test detects presence of anthrax. No one tests positive for exposure.

Oct. 18: Fletcher at CBS tests positive for skin anthrax.

–The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hold special Webcast to teach doctors how to recognize anthrax.

–New Jersey letter carrier who first got lesion on Sept. 27 diagnosed with skin anthrax. Another postal worker likely had skin anthrax, though tests inconclusive.

Oct. 19: New York Post announces Huden is diagnosed with skin anthrax.

–Another New Jersey postal worker, at Hamilton regional office, tests positive for skin anthrax. FBI questions residents, businesses on New Jersey mail route of infected letter carrier.

–Anthrax bacteria strains in Florida, New York and Washington may have been from same batch, Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge says.

Oct. 20: Tests confirm anthrax traces found in mail-bundling machine at House office building a few blocks from the Capitol.

Oct. 21: Washington postal worker gravely ill with inhalation anthrax; five others sick. Officials close two postal facilities, begin testing thousands of postal employees. Later that night, postal worker Thomas L. Morris Jr. dies.

–New Jersey health officials say work areas, but not public areas, at Hamilton post office test positive for anthrax spores.

–Washington postal worker Joseph P. Curseen goes to Maryland hospital complaining of flu-like symptoms. He is sent home.

Oct. 22: Curseen returns to hospital at 5:45 a.m. by ambulance; dies six hours later of inhalation anthrax. Two other postal workers hospitalized in serious but stable condition.

–House and Senate reopen; office buildings remain closed.

Oct. 23: Anthrax found on machinery at military base that sorts mail for White House; all tests at White House itself come back negative. President Bush says: "I don't have anthrax."

–Officials announce that unidentified New Jersey postal worker at Hamilton office is hospitalized with suspected case of inhalation anthrax.

–Ernesto Blanco released from hospital after 23 days.

Oct. 24: Surgeon General David Satcher admits "we were wrong" not to respond more aggressively to tainted mail in Washington. Three new cases of suspected inhalation anthrax announced in Maryland suburbs, all linked to Daschle letter.

Oct. 25: – An employee at the State Department's mail facility is hospitalized with anthrax and the Postal Service sets up spot checks at facilities nationwide.

– Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge says the anthrax the Daschle letter was highly concentrated and made "to be more easily absorbed" by its victims.

– The number of Americans taking antibiotics for possible anthrax exposure reaches 10,000.

Oct. 26: The Supreme Court building is ordered shut down for anthrax testing.

–Postal workers demand the closure of anthrax-tainted buildings in New York and Florida, with some union officials threatening to sue the Postal Service.

© Copyright 2001 The Associated Press

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