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News Release

   PO 360
   Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

   For Release:
  December 14, 2001

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

For Further Information Contact:
Laura Otterbourg or Dave Jamieson

DHSS Distributes Clinicians' Guide and Checklist To Help Distinguish
Inhalational Anthrax From Influenza-like Illness

TRENTON - The Department of Health and Senior Services released today a clinicians' guide for New Jersey health care practitioners to provide another tool to help in the diagnosis of influenza-like illness versus the early symptoms of inhalational anthrax.

"Some symptoms are similar, and with the onset of the colder weather and flu season combined with the anthrax outbreak earlier this year, the guide and checklist should help clinicians in assessing medical decisions for their patients," said acting Commissioner of Health and Senior Services George T. DiFerdinando, Jr., MD. "While we have disseminated much information about the causes and symptoms of anthrax over the last several months, we felt it would be helpful to provide materials that particularly address these diagnostic issues."

The guide and checklist (PDF, 5K) can be accessed on the department's website and has been distributed through the New Jersey Local Information Network Communications System - Health Alert Network, known as LINCS. The network connects the DHSS and over 20,000 local health offices, health care providers, community health organizations, local officials, schools and other interested parties throughout the state.

DHSS does a weekly survey that tracks influenza-like illness activity in New Jersey and posts the results each week during the flu season on it's website at

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

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