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Infectious disease expert refuses to toe official line

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  • Russ Kick
    Stevens diagnosis on Thursday -- the first U.S. case of inhalational anthrax in nearly a quarter century -- fueled intense speculation about a bioterrorist
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 7, 2001
      Stevens' diagnosis on Thursday -- the first U.S. case of inhalational
      anthrax in nearly a quarter century -- fueled intense speculation about a
      bioterrorist incident. Most of the suspected hijackers in Sept. 11's
      attacks spent time in Palm Beach County. One of them, Mohamed Atta, flew
      planes on Aug. 16, 17 and 20 from the Lantana airport, less than a mile
      from Stevens' home, and looked at crop-dusters at a Belle Glade airport in
      the days before the attacks.

      The coincidence of suspected terrorists living in Palm Beach County was too
      much for Dr. Frederick Southwick, chief of infectious diseases at the
      University of Florida's Shands Health Center. He thinks someone released
      anthrax in the area.

      "The airborne version . . . that's just impossible," Southwick said
      Saturday. "Somebody has got to be putting it in the air.

      "There wouldn't be any other way to have that in Florida or the nation
      except through terrorists."

      He said that's because: Cattle in the United States are vaccinated against
      anthrax; a very large source of anthrax would be needed to cause an
      inhalation infection such as Stevens'; Stevens lived near the airport; and
      his infection is an extremely rare medical event.


      Palm Beach Post, 7 Oct 2001
      http://www.gopbi.com/partners/pbpost/epaper/editions/sunday/news_1.html
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