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News Release

 
   PO 360
   Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

   For Release:
   October 26, 2001

George T. DiFerdinando, Jr., MD, MPH
Acting Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Laura Otterbourg
(609) 984-7160

Mail Bin Tests Preliminary Positive for Anthrax
at Princeton Main Post Office in West Windsor

Acting Commissioner Dr. George T. DiFerdinando, Jr. this evening announced that a mail bin from the Princeton Main Post Office in West Windsor has tested preliminary positive for a single colony of anthrax at the State's Public Health Laboratory.

The United States Postal Inspection Service delivered the mail bin to the state laboratory on October 16; the testing began on October 24 and tonight the bin was confirmed preliminarily positive.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) does not recommend prophylactic antibiotics in this situation, Dr. DiFerdinando assured any of the workers at this facility that the DHSS will assist them in obtaining antibiotics if they choose to be treated.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the DHSS, and the CDC be doing environmental sampling of the facility this evening. The FBI will be doing crime scene sampling and the DHSS and CDC team will be gathering epidemiological information.

Based on these results of the environmental sampling at Princeton Main Post Office, the DHSS will develop a plan of action, in consultation with the United States Postal Service, the CDC, and the FBI, to evaluate risk for all postal facilities that receive mail from Rte. 130 mail Processing Facility in Hamilton Township.

According to the United States Postal Service, the post office was closed this evening.

The Department has established a bioterrorism phone line at the Emergency Operations Center at 609-538-6030 that is open between 8 am and 11 pm until further notice. Hearing-impaired residents with anthrax-related concerns can contact the New Jersey Relay Center by dialing either 711 or 1-800- 852-7899.The Relay Center will convey the message to DHSS at 609-538-6030. Information is also available on the website at www.state.nj.us/health.


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Department of Health and Senior Services
P. O. Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

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