Health officials say results from anthrax tests negative |

Health officials say results from anthrax tests negative

The Associated Press

RENO (AP) – Final test results show four of the six people exposed to a potentially deadly form of anthrax in a Reno office have tested negative, Washoe County health officials reported Sunday.

Preliminary test results show the two others exposed to an anthrax-contaminated letter from Malaysia sent to a Microsoft office have also tested negative for inhalant or airborne anthrax. Five Microsoft employees and a family member were exposed.

The final results of those nasal swab tests won’t be known until today, Washoe County health officer Barbara Hunt.

A third test on pornographic pictures in a letter sent from Malaysia to the office tested positive for anthrax, Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn said Saturday.

State officials have sent the pictures to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta for further testing, Guinn said.

Microsoft officials contacted health officials Wednesday about the letter, which had been sent to the Microsoft Licensing Inc. office.

Anthrax, whether the inhaled or skin variety, is caused by spores of Bacillus anthraces, the anthrax bacteria that are mainly a livestock disease. The infection is hard to diagnose and difficult to cure once symptoms start.

Health officials said the letter had been opened and appeared to have been moistened and then dried out. The governor said Microsoft had sent a check in the letter to a vendor in Malaysia, and the check was still in the letter, along with pornographic material. The vendor wasn’t identified.

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