posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 03:32 PM
Preliminary examinations on samples collected from the Pantagon's mail exchange have tested positive for Anthrax. Bulletins will be sent out to
hospitals in the area warning to look out for patients with sympoms of exposure to the disease after detection devices found the deadly bacteria in
two government defence department mail centres on Monday.
Two Defense Department mail-handling facilities were closed on Monday after sensitive detection devices indicated the presence of anthrax, but mail
had already been irradiated to kill any bacteria, Pentagon officials said.
Anthrax is an acute, sometimes deadly infectious disease caused by a spore-forming bacterium that can be used as a biological weapon.
In 2001, five people died when anthrax was sent in letters to media and government offices in Washington, Florida and elsewhere, raising fears of
bioterrorism. Those cases have not been solved.
On Tuesday, a Washington postal center also was closed and about 200 employees offered antibiotics as a precaution in case it had handled the Pentagon
mail, officials said.
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PCR or Polymerase Chain Reaction, is a relatively new form of testing for bacteria and other diseases including AIDS and Hepatitis C, which yields
fast and more accurate results than standard forms of smear and culture testing which can take weeks to complete.
PCR testing which is DNA testing has been used to detect bacteria in samples of bacterias including tuberculosis where results returned 80 percent
positives on samples that had previously been smear tested and found to be negative for the bacteria.
The preliminary finding is still not considered definate and further testing is currently underway on the samples found in the defense departments
mail centres with the suspected Anthrax bacteria which is often used as a biological weapon.
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[edit on 15-3-2005 by Eye Of Ra]