06 November 2003

Naval Facility Closes After Possible Anthrax Detected (washingtonpost.com)

Naval Facility Closes After Possible Anthrax Detected (washingtonpost.com): "Naval Facility Closes After Possible Anthrax Detected

Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 6, 2003; 8:25 PM

The Anacostia Naval Air Station closed a mail-handling facility late Thursday afternoon after preliminary tests indicated that anthrax spores were detected by an automated biological sensor, a Navy spokesman said.

A separate facility where U.S. government mail is sorted in the 3000 block of V Street NE also was closed as a precaution, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service said.

The mail facility at the air station was closed immediately after the detection by the sensor, said the Navy spokesman, Cmdr. Conrad Chun. An initial test for anthrax done at the facility was positive, but a 'definitive finding' will not be available for several days, Chun said.

Chun said there was no indication that workers at the small Naval air station were infected with anthrax, adding that no ciprofloxacin or other antibiotics had been dispensed. 'Nobody infected, nobody hospitalized,' he said, emphasizing that the test results were still preliminary. 'We're not even sure there is anthrax.'

New precautions against anthrax and other deadly agents were put in place after deadly anthrax-laced mailings killed five people and sickened 17 others two year ago."

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