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October 8, 2001
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2 cases of anthrax found in Florida

At least two cases of anthrax have been detected in southeast Florida, according to reports on Monday.

In the first case, Robert Stevens, 63, from Boca Raton died at the JFK Medical Centre, according to CNN.

On Monday, a colleague of Stevens, who was not named, was admitted to hospital after testing positive for the same disease. It was not clear, however, whether he had a full-blown case of the disease.

Stevens, who worked as photo editor with a supermarket tabloid called The Sun, had been admitted to hospital with symptoms associated with meningitis, but a spinal tap showed he had anthrax.

Doctors believe he contracted the inhaled version of the disease, which causes severe respiratory problems. The disease can also be contracted through a cut in the skin or by eating meat from infected animals.

Evidence of the anthrax bacteria was also found at the building housing The Sun's offices. The building has been closed off and law enforcement and health authorities were to take additional samples.

The last case of anthrax reported in Florida was way back in 1974.

The anthrax bacterium has an incubation period that can range from seven to 60 days. The inhaled form of the disease is rare and very deadly. Studies of previous cases show that a dose of just 2,500 spores could be lethal.

The first stage of infection, which could last for up to a few days, involves symptoms resembling the flu, including fever, coughing, general debility and chest pains.

The second stage usually ends in death within days.

ALSO SEE:
Bioterrorism: Preparing for the future

The Attack on America: The Complete Coverage

The Terrorism Weblog: Latest stories from round the world

External Link:
For further coverage, please visit www.saja.org/roundupsept11.html

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