Newspaper hit by anthrax -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Newspaper hit by anthrax

Karachi- Anthrax has surfaced in an Urdu daily with the laboratory which examined the contents of the envelope received by the paper confirming that they were anthrax spores.

According to Jang, a reporter received a contaminated envelope about a week ago supposed to contain a press release. Instead, it contained white powder, which was immediately sent to the Aga Khan hospital for examination.

The newspaper said that doctors had prescribed antibiotics for the exposed staff, who worked mainly in the editorial department. Besides, the premises where the envelope had been opened was being disinfected.

An international bank and a computer company have already received anthrax organisms in the shape of white powder.

In the first confirmed anthrax case, the patient was released by the hospital about a week ago.

The Aga Khan hospital, which has tested such suspected organisms (whose number has not been determined as yet), has so far come up with the confirmation of three positive cases.

A Karachi University’s pharmacy teacher is among those who has received such suspected envelope.

According to sources, the teacher did not open the envelope ad sent it to the government’s drug inspection department immediately for investigation.

The substance found in the envelope is under investigations.

The federal minister for science and technology Dr. Ata-ur-Rehman said that there was no reason to make anthrax an issue in the country.

He said that fortunately nobody had actually been infected in the cases that involved a newspaper, a computer company and a bank.

In all the cases treatment had been given in time and all of them were all right at the moment, he added.

Source: Dawn
Date:11/3/2001