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2001 Anthrax Attacks Fast Facts

Here's a look at the 2001 anthrax attacks, also referred to as Amerithrax.Facts about anthrax:...

Posted: Jun 2, 2018 7:03 AM
Updated: Jun 2, 2018 7:03 AM

Here's a look at the 2001 anthrax attacks, also referred to as Amerithrax.

Facts about anthrax:
There are three types of anthrax infection: cutaneous (through the skin), inhalation (through the lungs; the most deadly) and gastrointestinal (through digestion). There has been a fourth type of anthrax identified as injection anthrax. This is common in heroin-injecting users in northern Europe. This has never been reported in the United States.

It can be contracted by handling products from infected animals or by breathing in anthrax spores and by eating undercooked meat from infected animals.

Anthrax has been blamed for several plagues over the ages that killed both humans and livestock. It emerged in World War I as a biological weapon.

The CDC categorizes anthrax as a Category A agent: one that poses the greatest possible threat for a negative impact on public health; one that may spread across a large area or need public awareness and requires planning to protect the public's health.

Amerithrax:
Five people died and 17 people sickened during anthrax attacks in the fall of 2001; outbreak is often referred to as Amerithrax.

Anthrax was sent via anonymous letters to news agencies in Florida and New York and a congressional office building in Washington.

Of the five victims who died of inhalation anthrax, two were postal workers. The other three victims were an elderly woman from rural Connecticut, a Manhattan hospital worker from the Bronx and an employee at a Florida tabloid magazine who may have contracted anthrax through cross-contamination.

The letters were sent to NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, Sen. Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Sen. Patrick Leahy, and the New York Post offices. The letters were postmarked Trenton, New Jersey.

No arrests have been made in the attacks.

The FBI has interviewed more than 9,100 people and issued more than 6,000 subpoenas in the case.

4.8 million masks and 88 million gloves were purchased by the Postal Service for its employees, and 300 postal facilities were tested for anthrax.

Over 32,000 people took antibiotics after possible exposure to anthrax.

Victims:
Stevens, Bob - photo editor at American Media Inc, dies of inhalation anthrax, October 5, 2001

Curseen, Joseph Jr. - DC area postal worker, dies of inhalation anthrax, October 22, 2001

Morris, Thomas Jr. - DC postal worker, dies of inhalation anthrax, October 21, 2001

Nguyen, Kathy - employee at Manhattan hospital, dies of inhalation anthrax, October 31, 2001

Lundgren, Ottilie - Connecticut woman, dies of inhalation anthrax, November 22, 2001

Timeline:
October 5, 2001 - Sun photo editor Bob Stevens dies of inhalation anthrax.

October 12, 2001 - NBC News announces that an employee has contracted anthrax.

October 15, 2001 - A letter postmarked Trenton, New Jersey, opened by an employee of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle contains white powdery substance later found to be "weapons grade" strain of anthrax spores. More than two dozen people in Daschle's office test positive for anthrax after the envelope is discovered.

October 19, 2001 - An unopened letter tainted with anthrax is found in the offices of the New York Post. One Post employee is confirmed to have a cutaneous infection and a second shows symptoms of the same infection.

October 21, 2001 - DC postal worker Thomas Morris Jr. dies of inhalation anthrax.

October 22, 2001 - DC postal worker Joseph Curseen dies of inhalation anthrax.

October 31, 2001 - Kathy Nguyen, a stockroom worker for the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, dies of inhalation anthrax.

November 9, 2001 - The FBI releases a behavioral profile of the suspect, who is probably a male loner and might work in a laboratory.

November 16, 2001 - A letter sent to Senator Patrick Leahy is found to contain anthrax. The letter is among those at the Capitol that has been quarantined. The letter contains at least 23,000 anthrax spores and is postmarked October 9, in Trenton, New Jersey.

November 22, 2001 - Ottilie Lundgren, a 94-year-old Connecticut woman, dies of inhalation anthrax.

January 2002 - FBI agents interview former US Army bioweapons scientist Steven Hatfill as part of the anthrax investigation.

June 2002 - Bioweapons researcher Steven Hatfill is named a "person of interest" by the FBI.

June 25, 2002 - The FBI searches Steven Hatfill's Maryland apartment and Florida storage locker with his consent.

June 27, 2002 - The FBI says it is focusing on 30 biological weapons experts in its probe.

August 1, 2002 - The FBI uses a criminal search warrant to search Steven Hatfill's Maryland apartment and Florida storage locker a second time; anthrax swab tests come back negative.

August 6, 2002 - Attorney General John Ashcroft refers to Hatfill as a "person of interest."

August 11, 2002 - Steven Hatfill holds a press conference declaring his innocence. He holds a second one on August 25, 2002.

September 11, 2002 - The FBI searches Hatfill's former apartment in Maryland for the third time.

August 26, 2003 - Hatfill files a civil lawsuit against Attorney General John Ashcroft, the Justice Department and the FBI claiming his constitutional rights have been violated. The suit alleges violations of Hatfill's Fifth Amendment rights by preventing him from earning a living, violations of his Fifth Amendment rights by retaliating against him after he sought to have his name cleared in the anthrax probe and the disclosure of information from his FBI file. The suit, which names the Justice Department, FBI, Attorney General John Ashcroft and various lower level Justice and FBI officials, asks for a declaration that government officials violated Hatfill's constitutional rights and seeks an injunction against future violations. The suit also seeks an undetermined amount of monetary damages.

July 11, 2004 - The former headquarters of American Media, Inc. in Boca Raton, Florida, where Bob Stevens contracted the anthrax is pumped full of chlorine dioxide gas for decontamination. This was the last building exposed to anthrax in the fall of 2001.

June 27, 2008 - The Justice Department reaches a settlement with former Army scientist Steven Hatfill. The settlement requires the Justice Department to pay Hatfill a one-time payment of $2.825 million and to buy a $3 million annuity that will pay Hatfill $150,000 a year for 20 years. In return, Hatfill drops his lawsuit, and the government admits no wrongdoing.

July 29, 2008 - Bruce Ivins, a former researcher at the Army's bioweapons laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland, dies after overdosing during a suicide attempt on July 27.

August 6, 2008 - Judge unseals and releases hundreds of documents in the 2001 FBI Anthrax investigation that detail Ivins' role in the attacks.

August 8, 2008 - The Justice Department formally exonerates Hatfill.

September 25, 2008 - Court releases more documents including e-mails that Bruce Ivins sent to himself.

February 19, 2010 - The Justice Department , FBI and US Postal Inspection Service announce its investigation into the 2001 anthrax mailings is at an end.

March 23, 2011 - A report, entitled The Amerithrax Case, is released through the Research Strategies Network, a non-profit think tank based in Virginia. According to the report, old mental health records suggest Bruce Ivins should have been prevented from holding a job at a US Army research facility in Maryland. The report was requested by the US Department of Justice.

October 9, 2011 - The New York Times reports indicate there are scientists questioning the FBI assertions regarding Bruce Ivins. Possibly Ivins, if he was involved, worked with a partner. Also, the scientists say the presence of tin in the dried anthrax warrants that the investigation be reopened.

November 23, 2011 - The Justice Department settles for $2.5 million with the family of Bob Stevens, the first victim to die in the 2001 anthrax attack. The family originally sued for $50 million in 2003, arguing that the military laboratory should have had tighter security.

December 19, 2014 - The Government Accountability Office releases a 77-page report reviewing the genetic testing used by the FBI during the investigation into the anthrax attacks.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 768112

Reported Deaths: 8639
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1533481923
Ramsey63323978
Dakota56954525
Anoka53854520
Washington33598331
Stearns28397253
St. Louis23627358
Scott21603160
Wright21301171
Olmsted18125120
Sherburne15480115
Carver1361255
Clay1023599
Rice9966131
Blue Earth964559
Crow Wing9467109
Kandiyohi834397
Chisago833563
Otter Tail8020105
Benton7472111
Beltrami652879
Mower645440
Douglas627590
Goodhue619485
Itasca615382
Winona611254
McLeod593770
Steele585225
Isanti569274
Morrison556066
Becker532762
Polk510778
Freeborn487642
Nobles480852
Lyon454856
Carlton445566
Nicollet433352
Pine427031
Cass423144
Mille Lacs415367
Brown409947
Todd398836
Le Sueur385332
Meeker356253
Waseca327231
Martin326236
Wabasha29516
Hubbard289944
Dodge273310
Roseau263827
Fillmore243212
Redwood239643
Wadena236629
Houston231017
Renville227349
Faribault220230
Pennington216527
Sibley210612
Cottonwood196628
Kanabec191330
Chippewa190240
Aitkin182543
Watonwan170811
Pope16128
Yellow Medicine156620
Rock155019
Jackson146514
Koochiching138319
Clearwater136018
Swift134519
Marshall134320
Murray134311
Pipestone133327
Stevens124511
Lake109121
Wilkin102214
Lac qui Parle98324
Mahnomen89312
Norman8729
Big Stone7974
Lincoln7825
Grant7819
Kittson60822
Red Lake5899
Unassigned529124
Traverse5125
Lake of the Woods4714
Cook2460

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 474151

Reported Deaths: 6785
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk74657729
Linn29194394
Scott24733274
Black Hawk20335358
Woodbury19207244
Johnson17988100
Dubuque15834229
Pottawattamie14276200
Dallas14109108
Story1288551
Warren774296
Cerro Gordo6951110
Webster6950111
Clinton6929101
Des Moines667594
Marshall641885
Muscatine6352113
Wapello5936137
Jasper578279
Lee565689
Sioux565676
Marion508191
Buena Vista491746
Plymouth463487
Henry389847
Jones370861
Washington366856
Benton359257
Bremer357168
Boone350937
Carroll346353
Crawford339347
Mahaska322856
Dickinson301052
Clay279133
Buchanan279039
Jackson273546
Kossuth271873
Hardin270249
Tama264976
Fayette260649
Delaware258546
Cedar249526
Page249328
Wright243645
Hamilton233954
Winneshiek233338
Floyd221845
Harrison217777
Madison216925
Clayton214558
Poweshiek211741
Iowa208029
Butler206638
Cass201557
Jefferson201040
Mills199929
Allamakee194753
Cherokee193844
Lyon192941
Hancock187639
Winnebago186633
Calhoun186116
Appanoose180850
Shelby178439
Louisa171052
Grundy168537
Humboldt167727
Emmet167146
Franklin164628
Mitchell164043
Union162637
Chickasaw159318
Sac157924
Guthrie155434
Montgomery142342
Palo Alto142032
Clarke141328
Keokuk139635
Monroe134335
Howard128222
Ida118641
Greene116315
Davis115225
Lucas113724
Pocahontas111423
Monona108738
Worth10818
Adair105335
Osceola94017
Fremont86111
Van Buren84221
Decatur82612
Taylor79713
Wayne74824
Ringgold67727
Audubon66814
Adams5095
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