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CDC Urgent Alert

Thursday, October 25, 2001
MSG 2001-086a
MEMORANDUM FOR: 
Human Resources Directors
Subject: 
CDC Urgent Alert

All Federal Government Agency Mailrooms Which Directly Receive Mail From the Washington DC Processing and Distribution Center (US Postal Brentwood Facility)

Please immediately direct all mailroom workers from these facilities to DC General Hospital to receive preventive antibiotics.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all people who have worked in non-public, mail operation areas of federal government agency mailrooms ("government mails") since October 11, that directly receive incoming mail from the Washington DC Processing and Distribution Center at 900 Brentwood Road, NE, Washington DC (US Postal Brentwood Facility), receive preventive antibiotics for potential exposure to anthrax. Please immediately direct all mailroom workers from these facilities to DC General Hospital to receive preventive antibiotics. Make every effort to notify all employees, especially those not currently working (shift workers, vacation, sick, etc...), of the need for preventive antibiotics.

Only the persons described above who are currently located in the Metropolitan DC Area (DC, Maryland, and Virginia) should seek these services from the treatment centers listed below by the end of the day, Friday, October 26, 2001. Those located outside the Metropolitan DC Area should seek these services from their state and local health department or private physician. DC General is accessible by Metrorail (Orange and Blue Lines/Armory Stadium Station).

At this point, CDC recommends 10 days of preventive antibiotics pending the results of environmental sampling that will be done. Treatment will be extended to 60 days, if necessary, based on environmental samples and other data.

CDC does not recommend nasal swabs. If an employee has already received a nasal swab, or receives one in the future, THEY MUST STILL TAKE ALL the preventive antibiotics as directed regardless of a negative or positive result. Please encourage your employees to finish their antibiotic treatment as directed!

This alert applies to federal government agency mailroom employees only. It is not necessary for customers who entered any of these facilities to purchase stamps or conduct other postal business to receive preventive treatment.

Washington DC Residents:
DC General Hospital, 1900 Massachusetts Avenue, from 9 am to 10 pm

Virginia Residents:
Residents of Virgina seeking treatment on Friday, October 26 should report to DC General Hospital, 1900 Massachusetts Avenue, from 9 am to 10 pm. Beginning Saturday, October 27 treatment will be available at Virginia locations. For information on these locations call (703) 246-3796 between 7 am and 11pm.

Maryland Residents:
Residents of Maryland should call their local Health Departments or the Maryland Department of Health at (410) 767-6700 between 8am and 9pm.

CDC's investigation is ongoing. Future changes to these recommendations may occur on the basis of new information. Thank you for your cooperation.

For answers to specific questions, please call one of the following numbers:
(202) 442-5948 (202) 442-5947
(202) 442-5886 (202) 442-9404