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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: 610839

Reported Deaths: 7749
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1266401800
Ramsey53172911
Dakota47328475
Anoka43323465
Washington27717296
Stearns22703227
St. Louis18297319
Scott17719139
Wright16561153
Olmsted13549103
Sherburne1215696
Carver1075749
Clay829692
Rice8261111
Blue Earth771944
Crow Wing689599
Kandiyohi670885
Chisago627654
Otter Tail591187
Benton586698
Goodhue486174
Douglas479281
Mower478233
Winona464652
Itasca463168
Isanti446667
McLeod435161
Morrison428462
Beltrami410763
Nobles410150
Steele401419
Polk390772
Becker389457
Lyon365554
Carlton356958
Freeborn352134
Pine337823
Nicollet334545
Mille Lacs315456
Brown308840
Le Sueur300127
Cass288633
Todd288633
Meeker266244
Waseca241023
Martin237233
Roseau212421
Wabasha20843
Hubbard198341
Dodge19023
Renville183946
Redwood178541
Houston175916
Cottonwood168224
Wadena165223
Fillmore159710
Faribault157220
Chippewa154138
Pennington153920
Kanabec148028
Sibley147410
Aitkin139437
Watonwan13629
Rock129219
Jackson123112
Pipestone117226
Yellow Medicine115420
Pope11406
Swift107618
Murray107410
Koochiching96819
Stevens92611
Clearwater89317
Marshall88917
Lake84520
Wilkin84013
Lac qui Parle76122
Big Stone6094
Grant5958
Lincoln5863
Mahnomen5669
Norman5509
Kittson49122
Unassigned48793
Red Lake4037
Traverse3835
Lake of the Woods3484
Cook1740

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 374664

Reported Deaths: 6109
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58891646
Linn21448342
Scott20426250
Black Hawk16680319
Woodbury15319230
Johnson1473686
Dubuque13595213
Dallas1144099
Pottawattamie11307177
Story1082848
Warren592092
Clinton564393
Cerro Gordo562297
Webster538996
Sioux519174
Muscatine4920106
Marshall491479
Des Moines478275
Jasper452073
Wapello4366123
Buena Vista431040
Plymouth404982
Lee392658
Marion369177
Jones301257
Henry301037
Bremer292763
Carroll286252
Boone271234
Crawford270841
Benton262755
Washington259851
Dickinson250745
Mahaska232551
Jackson225842
Kossuth219166
Clay217327
Tama213372
Delaware211743
Winneshiek200636
Buchanan196734
Page195422
Cedar192923
Hardin191144
Wright189140
Fayette188243
Hamilton186851
Harrison181973
Clayton173057
Butler167835
Madison167719
Floyd164642
Mills163824
Cherokee161538
Lyon160941
Poweshiek159036
Allamakee155552
Hancock153134
Iowa148324
Winnebago145731
Calhoun143113
Cass140855
Grundy139333
Emmet136741
Jefferson134535
Sac132620
Shelby131838
Louisa130249
Union129535
Appanoose128049
Franklin127823
Mitchell127243
Chickasaw125717
Guthrie124532
Humboldt124526
Palo Alto114924
Montgomery106738
Howard105322
Clarke102424
Monroe100633
Keokuk99932
Ida92735
Adair89632
Davis86825
Pocahontas86822
Monona85931
Greene79111
Osceola79017
Lucas77423
Worth7568
Taylor67112
Decatur6629
Fremont64810
Ringgold56824
Van Buren56718
Wayne56323
Audubon52913
Adams3494
Unassigned90
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