Here is the email I’ve been sending out thusfar keeping my friends and family updated on these creepy events:
Sorry for the email but its the most efficient way to keep you all up-to-date on what has befallen us at MSLI.
Here’s the latest scoop. Three tests have been done. Two came back positive, but even the third and most recent wasn’t conclusive. Therefore, samples are being sent to Atlanta for more extensive tests. Depending on the outcome we’ll know if we have a health risk or not.
A form of anthrax was definitely found, we’re just not sure if its a disease causing strain or not. Health officials tell us that it was a small amount that was sent to us and it is unlikely that anyone was able to be infected by handling the paper that contains the anthrax strain. This makes it even more unlikely that it could spread from person to person contact.
Anyone that has had direct contact with the contaminant is or has undergone testing for Anthrax. I haven’t heard anything back on those results yet.
We’re just in a wait and see mode right now.
From: UnimatrixZero [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, October 12, 2001 7:24 PM
Subject: These are indeed perilous times in which we are living….
…I know at least one of you has seen it on your news cause you’ve already called me.
Indeed. Today I learned that my place of employment was the victim of an anthrax attack. Here is the story…
On Wednesday we received returned mail that we had sent to one of our customers oversees (in the middle east i believe) that had obviously been tampered with. Wisely we contacted the health department and today we learned that the preliminary tests came back as presumptively positive (whatever that means)… Our second test I just heard came back negative.
The third one, we are apparently waiting on.
Good news is, this came in on Wednesday and I was out of the office on Wednesday and Thursday.
In all likelyhood, we’re all fine. But I’m still waiting to hear back from them. Will keep you all posted.
Subject: Anthrax story
Gov issues anthrax alert for Reno
By BRENDAN RILEY
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) – State officials said Friday they’re analyzing a letter sent from Malaysia to a Microsoft office in Reno that has tested “presumptively positive” for anthrax. Officials said additional tests were being conducted at a state Health Division lab to confirm the presence of anthrax. That should be completed by Saturday. Gov. Kenny Guinn confirmed the letter had been sent to the Microsoft Licensing Inc. office and that it had come from Malaysia. Guinn also said he was glad to see that the state’s emergency management system “worked very well” in handling the anthrax scare. He added employees at the firm who became suspicious followed proper steps in alerting authorities. Dr. Randy Todd, the state epidemiologist, said the Washoe County Health Department and the FBI are involved in the investigation, which began after one company employee got a returned letter that “just didn’t look right.” Todd said the letter had been opened and appeared to have been moistened and then dried out. He said the letter and its contents, which he wouldn’t describe, were tested “and we got a number of things growing, including bacillus, the genus to which anthrax belongs.” A further test to see whether the bacillus was anthrax produced results “consistent with it being anthrax,” said Todd. “But we’d like to have one more test at a minimum and maybe two more.” “There’s more at this point that we don’t know than we do know,” he added. Barbara Hunt, Washoe County district health officer, said she couldn’t confirm the material was anthrax because there were no final test results. Hunt added the “presumptively positive” phrasing is “a scientific term that means initial tests indicate a specimen is positive for a given microorganism, but further testing to confirm the results still have to be done.” “My understanding is a letter was received that looked suspicious,” Hunt said. “There are a number of criteria for a letter that might be suspicious and the individual was smart enough to have it analyzed.” Reno Mayor Jeff Griffin said public attention to terrorist threats apparently paid off in his city. “Thank God the average citizen now has a heightened level of awareness,” Griffin said. “They saw something suspicious and reported it to the proper authorities. Now, the appropriate agnecies are taking over.”