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New York Anthrax Case Not Terror Related, Just Weird

What was he making? His own leather shoes?

NEW YORK -- A New York City man has been hospitalized after inhaling anthrax, but officials believe it was accidental and not related to terrorism, NewsChannel 4's Jonathan Dienst reported Wednesday.

The man traveled in December to Ivory Coast in west Africa and became ill shortly after his return, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. There was no evidence of any criminal intent or terrorist connection, the mayor said.

The man collapsed after performing last week with a dance company, Kotchegna, at the Steadman Theatre in Mansfield, Pa., according to Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Dr. Calvin B. Johnson.

On Feb. 17, blood tests were taken and by Feb. 20, the tests began to indicate the possible presence of anthrax.

Bloomberg said the 44-year-old man had worked with the animal hides at a work space in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn. At least four other people may have been exposed to anthrax spores and three are being treated with antibiotics, city Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said.

"Every indication suggests that this is naturally occurring anthrax," said Frieden.

More at You Big Mouth, You!

Update: Boing, Boing links to a story by Paul Boutin on how easy or hard it would be to manufacture your own anthrax or smallpox, in Biowar for Dummies.


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Comments (7)

"a naturally occuring Anthr... (Below threshold)

"a naturally occuring Anthrax" I bet there are still those who believe the opposite.

I believe that Mayor Bloomb... (Below threshold)
JohnW:

I believe that Mayor Bloomberg mentioned he was making African "Tribal Drums".

must be a demand for such, I suppose....

JohnW,Actually, they... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

JohnW,
Actually, they are in high demand for the hippie drum circles.
I sh!t you not. My hippie wiccan ex-gf, the best gift I ever gave her was a buffalo hide, made on a reservation drum, for use in their drum circles...

I have two questions.... (Below threshold)

I have two questions.

How the heck do you bring raw animal hides into the U.S.?

What if it had been Ebola?

The animal hides were sheep... (Below threshold)
Travis:

The animal hides were sheep hides. The most common way to get "naturally occuring anthrax" in the world today is to work with unprocessed sheep's wool or hides. It not even all that uncommon. He was apparently making "tribal drums" and needed "fresh" meaning not already tanned and processed hides. Sounds like he caught the disease in Africa, not in the US.

The Boutin story is a littl... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

The Boutin story is a little scary.

The guy is a member of an A... (Below threshold)
eric:

The guy is a member of an African drum and dance troupe, Kotchegna Dance Company. Their drums are West African djembes that usually have goat skin heads. I myself have five African goat skins in my garage that I have to rehead my djembe. It is nothing new, nothing sinister though the infection is often fatal. It reminds me of an old Alfred Hithcock television program where a pair of bongos brought north from Mexico, spread the deadly disease among various people. The raw, hairy drum heads carry the anthrax bacteria. I think anthrax is one of those "fulminating" diseases, where by the time you begin to exhibit symptoms, it is all ready too late for treatment. This Africn guy seems to be surviving and breathing on his own.




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