4 facts about the anthrax case
- Some facts about the anthrax case in Florida:
1) Anthrax is rare, and the type Bob Stevens contracted--through
inhalation--is the rarest of all. "Only 18 inhalation cases in the United
States were documented in the 20th century, the most recent in 1976 in
California." [Associated Press, 6 Oct]
2) Stevens lived in Florida and had recently visited North Carolina;
anthrax among animals is almost nonexistent in both places. "The disease
can be contracted from farm animals or soil, though the bacterium is not
normally found among wildlife or livestock in the state [of Florida]....
Officials are also investigating in North Carolina, where Stevens visited
last month, but said the disease also is rare among animals in that state."
[AP, 6 Oct]
3) No one knows how he contracted anthrax. "'We have a long chronology of
common activities we need to pursue,' state epidemiologist Dr. Steven
Wiersma said Saturday. 'We don't have any really hot leads at this time.'"
Quoted in an article headlined, "Anthrax Case Puzzles Investigators." [AP,
4) Stevens lived near some of the 911 terrorists in Lantana, Florida.
"Mohamed Atta, one of the suspected hijackers who crashed airliners into
the World Trade Center on 11 Sep 2001, rented planes at a flight school at
Palm Beach County Park Airport. The home of the deceased man is within a
mile of the airport. Shortly after the terrorist attack, Marian Smith,
owner of Palm Beach Flight Training, said Atta had rented a plane four
times in August. Employees at the flight school declined comment today.
Atta also visited an airfield in Belle Glade, about 40 miles inland from
Lantana, and asked workers there questions about their cropdusters, but
never flew one. Some of the suspected hijackers had lived in an apartment
complex in Boynton Beach, about 10 miles south of Lantana." [AP, 5 Oct,
The two articles referenced above can be found (for a little while) at:
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