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News Release

   PO 360
   Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

   For Release:
   October 27, 2001

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

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

Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Provides Antibiotics to Contractors at the Route 130 Mail Processing Center in Hamilton Township

Acting Commissioner Dr. George T. DiFerdinando, Jr. announced today that the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) will begin providing antibiotic treatment to all people who went into the non-public workplace areas of the Route 130 Mail Processing Center in Hamilton Township dating back to September 18. Environmental samples of the workplace areas have confirmed anthrax contamination in this part of the facility.

The DHSS, in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and St. Francis Medical Center, will open the clinic in the Crean Hall Auditorium in the School of Nursing at St. Francis Medical Center on 601 Hamilton Avenue in Trenton on Sunday, October 28 from 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. The clinic will continue through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

But again, Dr. DiFerdinando reiterated that visitors to the public areas - where stamps are bought, the mail box section and where mail is weighed and stamped - do not need to get treated since the public areas of the facility have tested negative for anthrax.

The following individuals who have visited the workplace areas of the Hamilton facility since September 18 are strongly encouraged to visit the clinic and begin receiving the 60-day treatment regimen:
     · temporary postal workers
     · vendors
     · contractors
     · anyone in the workplace areas

A separate clinic for postal workers of the Hamilton facility has been in operation by the Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Center at Hamilton.

Sixty days of antibiotic treatment are recommended to all postal workers and persons going into the workplace areas of the Hamilton facility even if they have received a negative nasal swab result. The swab tests are used to see where exposures might have occurred in the facility. A negative swab test does not mean that a person has not been exposed to anthrax. In fact, nasal swabs for two people with suspected inhalational anthrax from the Hamilton Township facility were negative.

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

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

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