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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: 485655

Reported Deaths: 6558
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1007641586
Ramsey43106801
Dakota36297390
Anoka33293385
Washington22078256
Stearns18734201
St. Louis14805262
Scott13290107
Wright12526115
Olmsted1178988
Sherburne872872
Carver772640
Clay691587
Rice670491
Blue Earth594735
Kandiyohi579574
Crow Wing520681
Chisago499045
Otter Tail482170
Benton446490
Winona418349
Mower404731
Douglas392668
Nobles387047
Goodhue385768
Polk343162
McLeod339349
Beltrami337951
Morrison324547
Itasca313046
Lyon313044
Becker311342
Isanti306154
Steele300411
Carlton300149
Pine282016
Freeborn280723
Nicollet258641
Todd248030
Brown245037
Le Sueur235320
Mille Lacs227447
Cass220024
Waseca208717
Meeker207434
Martin189528
Wabasha18653
Roseau180217
Hubbard160640
Houston157314
Dodge15224
Renville149640
Redwood147027
Fillmore13728
Chippewa136335
Cottonwood134820
Pennington134416
Wadena130920
Faribault123017
Aitkin118833
Sibley117310
Watonwan11738
Rock115714
Kanabec107519
Pipestone101424
Yellow Medicine97617
Murray9448
Jackson93510
Swift87918
Pope8045
Marshall77815
Stevens7418
Lake74018
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68416
Wilkin67110
Koochiching61811
Big Stone5163
Lincoln5062
Grant4918
Norman4788
Unassigned46768
Mahnomen4417
Kittson40921
Red Lake3625
Traverse3055
Lake of the Woods2191
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 362827

Reported Deaths: 5440
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58260551
Linn20670313
Scott18318210
Black Hawk16258292
Woodbury14979211
Johnson1384874
Dubuque13562194
Dallas1138690
Pottawattamie10791143
Story1024945
Warren556674
Clinton543784
Cerro Gordo533782
Webster519587
Marshall497272
Sioux494869
Buena Vista474537
Des Moines458861
Muscatine452291
Wapello4345108
Jasper417766
Plymouth395378
Lee375452
Marion359169
Jones294154
Henry293337
Carroll286249
Bremer280854
Crawford275135
Boone259730
Washington254347
Benton253854
Mahaska224746
Jackson221638
Dickinson217840
Tama213765
Kossuth208555
Clay193625
Hamilton192142
Delaware189140
Winneshiek189127
Buchanan185729
Fayette185235
Page183319
Hardin181439
Wright179931
Harrison179469
Cedar178523
Clayton168154
Butler167231
Mills163020
Floyd162741
Cherokee154836
Madison154718
Poweshiek154330
Hancock147130
Allamakee146747
Lyon145941
Iowa145023
Appanoose139247
Grundy139230
Jefferson138734
Winnebago138631
Cass134751
Calhoun133811
Mitchell130940
Louisa128241
Union126631
Chickasaw125215
Sac124618
Emmet121740
Shelby121733
Franklin118319
Humboldt117925
Guthrie116628
Palo Alto105221
Montgomery104136
Howard102921
Clarke100420
Unassigned9900
Keokuk98229
Monroe93328
Adair92128
Ida91432
Pocahontas85419
Davis83123
Monona81627
Greene77510
Lucas74021
Osceola70615
Worth6997
Taylor66612
Fremont5909
Decatur5829
Van Buren56118
Ringgold52320
Wayne48921
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Adams3274
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